And the extra credit goes to…

One fun thing about Food Network recipes are the comments people make about them. Much of the time, a click on the “Reviews” button takes you to a bizarre universe of praise, cheap shots, rants, non-sequiturs, and slow-motion arguments that take years to resolve.

Amusing as they are though, they’re almost never useful. Especially when cooks complain (as they frequently do) that the recipe “didn’t work”. Since most of these recipes are fairly well tested, you can be reasonably sure that the failures are a result of poor execution (unless of course the recipe doesn’t work for ME, in which case the author was clearly an idiot).

This week’s panna cotta recipe only received a handfull of reviews, but some of them give very interesting insights into how people have used it. There’s one from a fellow named Stephen in Birmingham, Alabama who clearly sees panna cotta as a great way to impress chicks (both he and his rooommate served it to different women on the same day). There’s another one from a woman named Mary in Texas who apparently took up the panna cotta ball and ran with it in a very big way. She writes:

I used some fluted ramekins from my tiara collection to serve this and it looked and tasted great… The only thing I did different was to add a dollop of whipped cream and a small hollowed out strawberry, stuffed with a 1/4 of a sugar cube soaked in rum. Before serving, I lit it and it was a spectacular site.

A 1/4 of a sugar cube soaked in rum? On fire? If that’s the “only thing she did different” I wonder what happens when she really decides to let her hair down. Crikey! Look out Pierre Hermé! Just goes to show, you never know where the pastry ringers are. They could be in Paris, but they could just as easily be in Garland, Texas. Way to go Mary!

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