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The Truly Frightful Gourmet

Boing Boing today has a post about an LA Times story on the staggering eating habits and predelictions of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, also known as Our Dear Leader. Here's an excerpt from the story:

Kim insists that his rice be cooked over a wood fire using trees cut from Mt. Paektu, a legendary peak on the Chinese border, according to a memoir written by a nephew of Kim's first wife. He has his own private source of spring water. Female workers inspect each grain of rice to ensure that they meet the leader's standards. (The nephew, Lee Young Nam, who defected to South Korea in the 1980s, was assassinated by suspected North Korean agents in Seoul in 1997.)

Kim's refined palate is not merely a matter of idle gossip, but the subject of serious study by political psychologists trying to understand the North Korean leadership.

Jerrold M. Post, a psychiatrist who founded and was the longtime director of the CIA's Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, says Kim's obsession with eating the best food comes from being the son of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, revered by the propaganda machine as a god-like figure. Post diagnosed the younger Kim as a malign narcissist in large part based on information about his eating habits.

"This is how you prepare food and water for a god."

Unfortunately the bastards at the LA times force you to register and then once you're registered insist on sending you SPAM weekly, so I don't recommend it.

Instead, Here is a link to an excerpt from the book by Kim Jong Il's former cook translated to English.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud