Is That a Halibut Under Your Hood? | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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Is That a Halibut Under Your Hood?

Talk about niche publishing: Could you direct me to the “automotive cooking” section of the bookstore, please?If such a section exists, you’ll find at least one book there: “Manifold Destiny,” a humorous “Guide to Cooking On Your Car Engine” that has become something of a cult favorite since its 19...

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Manifold Destiny


Talk about niche publishing: Could you direct me to the “automotive cooking” section of the bookstore, please?

If such a section exists, you’ll find at least one book there: “ Manifold Destiny,” a humorous “Guide to Cooking On Your Car Engine” that has become something of a cult favorite since its 1998 publication. To celebrate this weird book’s 10th anniversary, Simon & Schuster has released an updated paperback edition, a copy of which just landed on my desk.

I expected it to be a joke, but no, it’s an honest-to-goodness manual, complete with recipes, diagrams of engine parts and helpful tips like “Never think you can use the air filter housing as a warming oven!” and “Wrap everything three times in aluminum foil.”

Looks like the perfect gift for anyone who likes to tinker with either food or cars. But do the recipes actually work? There’s only one way to find out! I’m tempted to try something classy like the “Hyundai Halibut with Fennel,” but I think I’ll start with a simpler and less smelly recipe like nachos. I’ll let you know how it goes…
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About Amanda Bensen

Amanda Bensen is a former assistant editor at Smithsonian and is now a senior editor at the Nature Conservancy.

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