Exploring Salvador Dalí's bizarre, never-before-seen cookbook

Exploring Salvador Dalí's bizarre, never-before-seen cookbook

ArtOctober 13, 2016 By Ethan Desmond

Salvador Dalí, famously known for his bizarre surrealist paintings and goofy sprwaling mustache, was a legend in his time and continues to be so today. With painting names like The Great Masturbator and Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening, it's clear the man was far from ordinary, with a different perception of the world and the things in it — including food. 

Aside from his paintings of crazy landscapes, melting clocks and naked women, he's also known to have created a cookbook some 40 years ago. It includes strange creations like Frog Pasties and eel cooked with bacon — his sensibilities in the kitchen often mimicking those of his famous works.

The book, which will be reissued for the first time in 40 years (and just in time for the holidays), has only about 400 initial copies known to still survive. It's been widely known to have existed among art collectors, but many have gone without seeing it due to the limited number available. The reissue will be a first look for many fans of Dalí and just weird cooking in general.

“You’ll see looking through it how much of a cultural artifact it is,” says a spokeswoman for the book's publisher, Taschen. “Recipes from top chefs at French restaurants that are still pumping and serving today, beautiful artworks that were made explicitly for the book, and recipes that people will enjoy simply by reading or [if they want] challenge them in the kitchen.”

As it's known, Dalí was a man who enjoyed food. He was infamous for throwing extremely lavish dinner parties featuring exotic and expensive dishes from around the world.

Along with Dalí's surrealistic take on excess, the book also features some of his philosophical beliefs on what he believes makes food great.

"I only like to eat what has a clear and intelligible form," he once said. "If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty."

"The jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge," Dalí adds. "Disgust is the ever present watchman of my table, sternly overseeing my meals obliging me to choose my food with caution."