It's generally accepted that humans can perceive five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (a kind of savory or meaty flavor). The Food Network's Sandra Lee, however, can't taste any of these flavors because she's had her tongue botoxed. How else can you explain something like her Kwanzaa Cake—a pastry that consists of a supermarket angel food bundt cake (for that stale, grocery-store-air flavor), generic icing in a can, cinnamon, an entire can of apple pie filling dumped unceremoniously in the center, and garnished with pumpkin seeds and corn nuts?
In a recent interview, entertaining culinary curmudgeon Anthony Bourdain described Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake thusly:
The most terrifying thing I've seen is her making a Kwanzaa cake. Watch that clip and tell me your eyeballs don't burst into flames. It's a war crime on television. You'll scream.
You'll scream. You'll laugh. Your brain will ache with the stupidity of it all. In other words: it's a good time:
But while the Kwanzaa Cake is clearly a pile of ridiculousness slathered in despair and sprinkled with nonsense nuggets, as anyone who's ever watched the atrocity known as Semi Homemade With Sandra Lee can tell you, the food is beside the point (which is a shame, considering the show is on the Food Network). For Sandra, the food is clearly an after-afterthought, which is why her recipes are always, "Buy a cake. Spread Cool Whip on top. Sprinkle gumdrops and crushed Cool Ranch Doritos on top. Done." It's very apparent that Sandra never wanted to be a cook. Instead, she dreams of having her own little corner in a Michaels Craft store in a mall somewhere—just a little place of her own where she could sit with her hot-glue gun and her metallic spray paint, and just let her knick-knack insanity roam free.
I think actual vomit (spray-painted gold, of course) would make a better "tablescape," don't you?