Cannibal Cop and the Freedom to Have Fucked-Up Fantasies
As every middle schooler knows, the internet is a repository of strange shit. A few casual keystrokes can take you to Goatse, Lemon Party, Cake Farts, and a dozen other weird porn memes. A few more clicks and you can find photos of mass graves, diseased genitals, rotting animal corpses teeming with maggots, open wounds festering and dripping with pus. Most hardened internet denizens laugh (or turn away in disgust) and move on when confronted with the web’s dark corners, but occasionally, people end up curling up inside them and making a home.
That’s one way to describe what happened to Gilberto Valle, the tabloid-famous “Cannibal Cop” who just had his conviction for plotting to kidnap, kill, and eat a bunch of women overturned by a judge who ruled that all of the online discussions he had with others about murder and vorefantasies were just that: fantasies.
“Once the lies and the fantastical elements are stripped away, what is left are deeply disturbing misogynistic chats and emails written by an individual obsessed with imagining women he knows suffering horrific sex-related pain, terror and degradation,” Judge Paul Gardephe wrote in an opinion released Monday night that sided with the defense. “Despite the highly disturbing nature of Valle’s deviant and depraved sexual interests, his chats and emails about these interests are not sufficient—standing alone—to make out the elements of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.”
We Met the Girl Who Cooks in Her Coffee Maker
A few years ago, I briefly lived in Stockholm. My time there was punctuated by constant coffee breaks—fika, as they’re called in Swedish—because it’s so fucking dark all the time that you can’t stay awake without drowning yourself in black coffee. Swedes love their coffeemakers as much as they love pickled fish and IKEA and electronic music. They practically bathe in coffee; in fact, Sweden is the world’s third biggest coffee consumer per capita.
Then I heard about Katja Wulff, a Swedidsh blogger who repurposed her precious coffee maker into an all-purpose cooking machine. She still makes coffee in it, allegedly, but she’s also cooked pizza, fish soup, birthday cake, and something she calls “testicle tacos” using, exclusively, her coffee maker. Her recipes are compiled on the Swedish blog Kaffekokarkokboken (basically, “coffeemaker cookbook”) and, more recently, on its English counterpart Coffee Machine Cuisine. Both blogs are flooded with photos, taken by Wulff’s boyfriend Dan Sörenson, that prove just how weird the culinary arts can be. I spoke with Wulff about how the obsession all started, what she’s cooking on her new YouTube cooking show, and how to fry balls in the same pot you brew coffee.
VICE: So, where did this idea come from?
Katja Wulff: Back in 2009, I lived in a dorm and I shared a kitchen with lots of other students. I did not like to cook in that kitchen, because I’m not a very social person and the thought of hanging out with the other people sometimes creeped me out. They were all nice people, so that was all on me. And the other thing is that I’ve never liked to cook, didn’t know how to. There was this one day that I was extremely unsocial and tired—er, hungover—and I did not want to go to the kitchen. I thought about preparing my noodles in warm water from the sink but realized quickly that it must be much smarter to cook the noodles in my coffee maker. And it worked great! I was so proud of myself and started to think about what more I could cook with it. Soon my little experiment escalated and I never cooked in that kitchen again. I even got away from the mandatory cleaning week that each student got since I never spent any time there.
Wait, you don’t like to cook?
And yet, you write a cooking blog? It seems like the project is more about art than food.
That’s absolutely right. I think that Coffee Machine Cuisine is more of a creative or twisted humor or blog rather than a food blog. If you’re looking for great recipes, then read another blog. If you want to have a good laugh, I hope you’ll think Coffee Machine Cuisine is fun. It’s the same with the cookbook [Kaffekokarkokboken, published in 2011]. I want people to read the book from the first page to the last. You don’t do that with cookbooks, but this isn’t a cookbook. The blog and book aren’t about cooking great and tasty food—although I try all of the time. It’s about creativity and encouraging people to do whatever they like to do.
Normcore Started with Sandwiches
Now that we can simultaneously wear sweatpants with Birkenstocks and be considered fashionable, let’s not overlook where the trend began: sandwiches.
Fuck, That’s Delicious: Episode 2
The second episode of Fuck, That’s Delicious is a great example of what happens when a Queens-born Albanian rap star gets his cousin out of jail on bail, and then brings him on a rap/eating tour ranging from Florida to Pennsylvania. Join Action Bronson and aforementioned cousin, Big Body Bes, along with a diverse cast of characters as they demolish audiences and sandwiches alike.
You Should Turn Your Kitchen into a Children’s Playground
There is, as far as I can tell, only one group of people with the ability to be entirely freewheeling with food and still be socially accepted: pregnant women. If a woman with child enters a restaurant and demands garlic shrimp dipped in chocolate sauce, for example, no one is going to say no. You give the lady what she wants. It’s a rite of passage.
Bulletproof Coffee Is Not for the Faint of Heart
It’s mid-morning on a busy day when hunger pangs usually set in and lunch is still but a distant dot on the horizon. But today is different. I’m strangely fortified with a feeling of satiety. I’m brimming with purposeful energy and my conscious brain has a sharp sheen, keeping me focused. What’s more is that I ate no discernible solid for breakfast. Rather, a veritable slick of strong coffee lathered with a heaped tablespoon of butter—the kind of breakfast that Withnail might have cobbled together with leftovers after a big night.
This was premeditated, though. I had drunk a mug full of bulletproof coffee (also known as butter coffee), an old world tradition that has re-emerged as a potent performance enhancer. The term was coined by American health guru Dave Asprey, who has harnessed his experience of drinking yak tea with butter at 18,000 feet in Tibet (it gave him astounding energy levels) into this turbo coffee. Mingma Tseri Sherpa, one of the world’s leading mountaineers and 19-time Everest summiter, tells me, “We often drink tea with yak butter and salt. It’s good for our health and we mostly drink it during winter. It’s very common fuel for sherpas and climbing.”
Gym Mats are a Kitchen Necessity for Prison Meals
“You have to lay on it,” She said as she sucked methadone out of the sleeve of her pink hoodie and placed a few sandwiches in between two gym mats. Somehow, I had found myself on the bench of a jail cell learning how to spice up a frozen cheese and mayo sandwich. I had opted for the PB&J, a rookie mistake. I don’t know why I did it—I don’t even like peanut butter—and it wasn’t PB&J; it was peanut butter and honey. It was a gooey brown substance on frozen bread that resembled wheat but didn’t seem like it should be considered wheat. Was this shit gluten free?
I was going on hour twenty in prison, trying to stuff the frozen sandwich down my throat before I could taste it when she walked in. Her hair was seemingly wet with grease, her neck covered in hickies, wearing a five-sizes-too-small pink belly shirt and sneakers without laces. Her butt-crack and stomach were hanging out of her diamond-studded True Religion jeans. She came in like a storm. She was given four sandwiches from the prison guard before she entered the cell. They had a long embrace before she sat down near me. I guess she was a regular. She threw her sandwiches onto the floor and ran into the bathroom: an open toilet with a piece of wood in front of it to allow for the smallest amount of privacy possible. As we sat there, I listened to her poop and complain about accidentally dropping a cigarette in there. I stopped trying to eat my meal.