Would you eat a toad? Of course not. But what about Bufo al Provençal?
Imagine it: You start with plump legs of toad, gently sauteed and then set aside and kept warm. Into the
newly-emptied saucepan add just a touch more olive oil, some freshly minced garlic, and peeled, seeded, and
chopped tomatoes. When they have rendered down, add a handful of olives, and a little finely chopped celery.
When the celery has turned transparent, return the toad legs to the pan and heat just until cooked through.
Such is the approach of the brotherhood of gourmets known as The All-Devouring. Long, long ago, so fine are their
palates, they used up all the possibilities of fresh and wholesome food. Now they have moved on to the delectation
of the repugnant. Road-kill skunk, a swath of dirty carpet torn from the floor of a motel waiting room, a hearty
glass of urine such are the primary elements of their exquisite feasts. But by the time they have reached the
table, these humble ingredients have been transformed into dishes fit for the gods!
The All-Devouring are Sybarites par excellence. Whenever they meet, they expand the horizons of refinement.
They lick the wallpaper and chew on the chairs. They egg each other on to greater and greater feats of aestheticism.
At their last meeting, one of their members ate his own hand. It was, he declared, excellent, though it could have
used a garnish of slugs.