The Unmentionable Book - NBC New York

The Unmentionable Book

We can't actually tell you what this book is about. But we can link to it. Just don't make us talk about it.

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    The unmentionable book has created a web maelstrom. But is it real, or is it a joke?

    Perspective is a great thing, isn't it?

    Like when you're wringing your hands about every other company folding, and masses of people being laid off from the ones that aren't, and how people start whispering that we may be teetering on the brink of a depression the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1930s, and how stuff's about to get all Grapes of Wrath -- and in the middle of everything, someone puts out this cookbook. And suddenly, being in the middle of a socio-cultural-economic implosion doesn't seem so bad anymore, does it? Because at least you're not haunted by the dark nights of the soul that brought this little tome to life.

    We're certainly not the first to mention this book. Not even close. It's everywhere. But what's fascinating is that even in forums where nothing is off-limits -- like Gawker -- they don't want to talk about this book. That's because (or so we theorize, anyway) it doesn't seem like a joke. We've gifted some of our cheffy friends with extreme cookbooks before -- usually in a wink-wink way, like, "hey, you've eaten snake -- how about tripe ice cream? double-dare you!" -- but this volume operates on a whole other level. The Natural Harvest (OK, yes, that's the book's title) is certainly funny, albeit not ha-ha funny, more like queasy funny, like seeing your uncle in drag for the first time. But it seems real, like someone has actually tried these recipes (admittedly, we haven't done an excessive amount of research on this book, and you're just going to have to let that slide) but we've scoured the blurb for traces of irony and found none. What we did find were straight-faced claims about how the ingredient in question "remains neglected as a food" and "is inexpensive to produce."

    Joke? Actual culinary milestone? You tell us.