What does decadence have anything to do with food? The definition of decadence implies decay. And decay doesn’t sound very delicious. The aesthetic “decadent” movement of 19th-century France may have inspired today’s obsession with decadent foods.
Absinthe: The Original Decadent Drink
The fin de siecle Europe’s young sophisticates believed that civilization was on the verge of collapse. Because their culture was already in decline, they decided to forgo the finer points of convention. Instead of trying to understand, why not abandon yourself to hedonistic sensation?
Absinthe was a popular choice for artists because of its high alcohol content and exotic color. Because of its reputation as a psychoactive drug, it was deemed offensive by conservative society and banned.
Decadent Foods of the 21st Century
While today’s people might not be as self-consciously nihilistic or as dissolute as their forebears were, the usage of the term “decadent,” which means “extravagantly self-indulgent”, is still prevalent. This can be applied to food and implies high-calorie, fat-filled, caloric, dangerous, and rich foods.
Expensive Kobe Beef
Kobe is a subcategory within the Japanese beef group known as Wagyu. Although some confusion exists about the terms, all Kobe is Wagyu. Not all Wagyu are Kobe. To be considered authentic, Kobe must have come from one of the 3,000 approved Hyogo Prefecture cattle each year.
Kobe is both the most marbled and most expensive beef in the world. It’s the 3 ounce steak that costs $125 and is most expensive, but it’s also the most flavorful and tender.
A Risky Fish
Fugu is a pufferfish that is known for its poisonous tetrodotoxin in its stomach. Japanese chefs must complete a rigorous training program before being allowed to prepare fugu. It is a dangerous act to eat it. Even a small amount can prove fatal.
Gilding the Dinner
For hundreds of years, gold leaf has been used as both decoration and food delicacy. India is known for its sweets covered in gold, but gold Jade Jordan has been eaten in Europe since medieval times.
Pure gold is made edible by being beaten into thin, tissue-thin sheets. Then it’s molded around a sweet. Although it does not impart any flavor, some people mention a “crunch”. Edible gold leaf is, in any event, the most conspicuous form of consumption.