Life in my new studio is so delightful I can’t even tell you. Located in downtown Long Beach near the Museum Of Latin American Art, it has everything I need and a few things I don’t. I’ve learned to expand my photographic wings and utilize space, building small sets and workstations as needed. And yet I still have so much space.
You know what else I have? Incredibly colorful neighbors who, despite the record levels of inebriation, are all so friendly and wonderful. People think nothing of sticking their head in the door and asking what on earth I’m doing and “so you shoot food but when do the hot models show up, man?” and it takes me back to my childhood where I knew each and every neighbor, where they lived and what they did. Contrast this with my mega-suburban home life just 5 miles away and it’s a shocking difference.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Around the corner from the studio is a charming little bodega that sells everything from syrupy Mexican sodas and ice cream to tortas and tacos. One day last week we decided to run over and grab a sandwich having previously spied the Milanesa Torta on the menu board. Plastered throughout this clean bright deli are generic food-service posters of salads and tacos but there’s one in particular that caught me eye. It was called Frito Locos and immediately my mind began to race with images of Frito Pies. Next to the poster was another for Costa Brava, a big pile of something made with Doritos and cucumbers. Costa Brava, I thought? Now that’s interesting. I looked at Adam, he looked at me, and thought “why not?” Curiosity would eventually get the better of us one day, might as well go for it now.
Ladies and gentleman, with absolutely no disrespect meant to the shop owners or the creators and lovers of the “Costa Brava”, I want to tell you that I think I just found the strangest combination of ingredients I have ever seen or tasted. And that’s saying quite a bit.
Take Doritos, add raw cucumber chunks, cold squid pieces, candied peanuts, onions, jalapeños and generous doses of hot sauce and you have just created your own delightful plate of Costa Brava. And did I eat it? Absolutely not. And the entire time I kept thinking “what did the people of Spain ever do to have this dish named after them?” I’ve eaten durian, brains, eyeballs and testicles and yet I still couldn’t get past this pile of bizarre nachos.
I am sure there are lovers of things just like this and maybe I could be too if I was on a desert island with nothing else to eat and a bong the size of my leg but really, I could see no other way of enjoying this. So I took a picture. I hate wasting food.
So there you have it. The Strangest Thing I Have Never Eaten But Yes, I Tried My Darndest.
Now I ask you: what’s the strangest combination of ingredients you’ve tried?