The other night I was harmlessly minding other people’s business on Facebook when up scrolled an advert for ‘The Future of Food’ or more specifically, bags of balanced powdered ‘Human Food’ called Huel. Made of pure desiccated whatever, just shake into a gloop with water and drink it. No need to encroach on even the outer vestiges of a shared social culinary experience or the pleasures of stirring or folding or baking or cooking, and no need to ever again savour any other flavour than vanilla sweetened gubbins. Vegantastic and molecular probably.
Reading about Huel, I exhibited a rare emotion in a middle-aged man. I LOL’d. Well, I snorted really, and in derision of course. Food and flavour plays a big part in my bonne viveur, work hard and play if possible lifestyle. Facebook’s infinite wisdom had pitched powdered bags of stuff at ME? With a free shaker I don’t need and a t-shirt I don’t want all included… Could anything be more grim and depressing?
And then it dawned on me. Perhaps here was the ultimate palate cleanser, a food so banal that by going on a 2-week diet of it, my gustatory cells, ever-seeking spicier and fuller flavours, might be restored to relative virginity. By going on Huel could I ‘hymenise’ my taste-buds so that Shepherd’s Pie would be flavoursome once more and pasta arrabiata from Sainsbury’s would taste sensationally and exotically Italian.
So of course I bought it straight away. £45 of my encouragement for these vendors of pure misery and worse, a positive result for Huel from advertising on Facebook – but it is all in the name of science.
So here it is, Day One of the experiment, “Two Weeks on Huel.” It is a quest for truth and justice and a virgin palate based on the continual servings of scented gruel.
Let us begin.