by Lorette C. Luzajic
In my other life, when I’m not stuffing my face with lamb chops or jalepeno relish, I write about Michael Jackson. Really, what could be cooler? When I was a little girl, hiding my cassette copy of the Satanic Thriller from my wingnut fundie folks, I didn’t ever once think, “Wow, when I grow up, I’m going to be a Michael Jackson blogger, collector of strange MJ trivia, and pop cultural philosopher.” I only knew I was going to write poetry and recipe books. That I ended up writing about meat and Michael Jackson was an inexplicably bizarre bonus, reminding me that fate has an absurd sense of humour.
Today, for your amusement and edification, I’d like to share with you some delicious treasures from my Michael world.
Behind door number one, at Zazzle, you can choose from a selection of Michael Jackson apron styles. My personal fave says “Property of Neverland,” but you can opt for a classic fedora motif if you prefer.
You’ll definitely need an apron for our excursion into confectionary Neverland. Let them eat cake: the Michael Jackson specialty desserts industry is alive and thriving. Literally thousands of cakes have been made in honour of the King. Some are thoughtful birthday delights for kids, but many are exquisite artisanal sweets. My favourite is this impossibly beautiful buttercream hat and glove from Sugar Sugar Creations. Sugarsugar is a bespoke cake designer in West Sussex, creating edible art from farms local to their shop. Sugar addicts will pack up and move to England after visiting Sugarsugar’s online galleries.
There are also countless cupcake tributes out there, including these precious ones by Sugar Daddy Bakery’s pastry chef, Aaron, in Dubai.
Various instructions abounded for making your own MJ treats. Some were a little too complicated, such as cutting dough with a knife into Jackson silhouettes. Painting gloves or MJ initials with icing wouldn’t be too bad, but I thought it would be more fun to get a hand cookie cutter, then decorate the cookies with sugar chunks and/or those not-really-edible little silver balls (called dragees.)
Almond lovers will be in all-you-can-eat heaven with this life size marzipan Michael in Hungary’s Marzipan Museum, no less. And brilliant artist Jason Huntley used Jackson’s arrest mug shot to create his cereal thriller, Breakfast in Neverland, pictured at the beginning of this post.
You’ll want a cup of coffee to wash down your dessert, and your mug can have Michael’s mug on it! Choose from a vast variety of Michael Jackson coffee and tea cups. These range from your standard memorial variety to little black numbers with “Who’s Bad?” scrawled in vivid red.
Not all of the Michael Jackson food tributes were so sweet. Some were downright fishy, like this sushi portrait, picture below, found at slashfood.com (photo by Alain Alele). Another sushi chef, Marisa Baggett, says the inspiration of Michael Jackson is how she became one of the very few black female sushi chefs. “I can confidently say if it weren’t for him, I may not have ever ventured into a career of sushi,” Marisa explains on her blog. “In the past when people would say to me that I couldn’t become a sushi because I was a black female, I super-imposed Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk over their image in my mind and find strength. Whenever I face a sushi challenge or feel like I can’t press out one more nigiri-zushi, I can use the same image or turn on his music and once again I am strong. Sushi beckoned me onto the ‘dance floor’ and I accepted.”
If you’re really hungry for more, you can watch Michael Jackson, um, eating… on YouTube. It’s a strange spectator hobby, to be sure, but apparently some are just not filled up watching him dance and sing. The makers of the video clip of Michael eating sushi were kind enough to play it in slow motion, so that you didn’t miss anything. Eating is something Michael rarely did, apparently, so maybe that’s the appeal. He reportedly struggled with anorexia or body dysmorphia at various times, and he was usually too anxious to eat.
He was also an on-again off-again vegetarian, usually on, because he didn’t want to hurt animals. But his nutritional deficiencies were particularly devastating, as MJ’s body was pivotal in his career. His energy output was insane, and he was also, so they say, addicted to candy- not exactly health food. When poultry was on the menu, he loved Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Michael’s last private chef, however, says that during his gruelling rehearsal schedule, he and his children ate very healthy foods, beginning the day with granola and almond milk, and sticking to fish and chicken entrees and spinach salads. Weekends meant comfort food, Mexican style. Chef Kai Chase is working on a memoir-cookbook, possibly called Fit For a King.
There is considerable debate among fans over what constituted Jackson’s favourite foods. There seems to be no consensus among said fans in the know over whether Jackson’s top of the charts were raw food vegetarian selections, or pizza, or cheese potatoes, or KFC. But one thing is certain: his favourite snack food crowns him the King of Popcorn.