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Edible Astrology

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Your May Horoscopes: May the Force Be With You (and oh man, is it ever!) 

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Love him or hate him, Richard Feynman was a force to be reckoned with. The physicist, author, and notable Taurus had a particular talent for taking incredibly complex theoretical precepts and making them simple enough for mere mortals to understand. Part of his appeal was the way that he placed science, poetry, and humanism onto a continuum, and made not knowing the answers to life’s complex questions as much a part of the process as the asking of those questions. He could explain the difference between knowing and understanding and counter his own skepticism with optimism about the beauty of the observable universe. Of course, he may have gained some appreciation for this by working in topless bars, but like one who is ruled by Venus, there really was no other way. However, perhaps his most endearing quality is that over the course of an illustrious and unparalleled international career, he never lost his thick New York accent. And although his friends and fellow physicists Wolfgang Pauli and Hans Bethe said he “spoke like a bum”, he managed to pull both the heavens and the earth into the palm of his hand. 

 

However, for all of his poetry, Richard Feynman was a Taurus, and this was never more evident than when it came to food. Apart from this skepticism about organic food, Feynman was particularly interested in restaurants: should he order the best dish he’d eaten so far, or take a chance on an unknown dish that could potentially be even better? Being a scientist and a bull, Feynman decided to formalize the question in a math problem that pretty much sums up what it means to be a Taurus. Because while fun may be fun, responsible fun is the best fun. Oh Taurus, how we love you so. 

 

The month of May being Taurus season, you may find that the holy-moly comes at you disguised as the humdrum but rest assu is red, this is going to be a month to remember. Just like your favorite Taurus being will blow you away when you least expect it, this month comes at us with new spins on the old spring ceremony. If you’ve been orbiting planet Earth with the rest of us you’ll have felt the intensity of the partial eclipse that ended April (and how about the full moon that coincided with Easter, Passover, and Ramadan? Talk about a rebirth!) and welcomed us into the bullring. You may also have looked up into the night sky and seen the particularly cozy alignment of Jupiter and Venus: while the planetary conjunction is an annual event, they won’t appear this snuggly again until 2039. All told, April left us in good hands, celestially speaking, and May keeps the momentum going in a fine way. 

 

Venus and Jupiter continue their cheek to cheek, entering fire sign Aries on May 2 and May 10 respectively. The Jupiter transit marks the beginning of a four-month period in which we attract abundance and social support when we behave ambitiously and go after our goals without hesitation. You’ll remember that 2022 is the year when Jupiter swings between Pisces and Aries, meaning that our wildest dreams have a real shot at becoming reality if we’re ready to believe in it (and ourselves). Here’s the leap towards action that you’ve been waiting for, whether in personal, professional, or universal growth. 

 

Ah, those first couple of weeks were fun, weren’t they? Well, the sleeping bull wakes up and sticks her horns right where the sun “don’t shine”, literally. We reach mid month with a full moon and lunar eclipse in Scorpio on May 15 but not before Mercury goes retrograde on May 10, the first of four such swings this year. Oh brilliant. Ok but, hear me out dear friends: although we know that Mercury retro can be a really wonky time for communication, travel delays, and technological functioning, I dare you to notice that this month, you may just care a little less. Whether it’s because of the inspiring fairy dust of Jupiter or the balmy winds that May almost inevitably brings, this month's breakdance may just feel more manageable than usual. Indeed you may just find that the full moon has a different effect on you this month, and that instead of feeling overwhelmed you feel filled with desire to make the changes you’ve begun a little more permanent. Of course, Taurus is the sign of taking-your-time and holding on to the things that make you you, so don’t worry too much about losing your thick New York accent. The you that is you isn’t going anywhere. 


By the time we get to May 20 and Gemini season, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to show off the new (old) you, as the twins almost always usher in a period of renewed contact with the people, places, and things that we may have found ourselves a little bit estranged from. The Mercury in retrograde should also be slightly tempered by this movement, and when Mars enters home planet Aries on May 24 you feel a little more sure on your feet and ready to come out swinging (for better or worse). The end of the month is boosted by Venus entering Taurus on May 28, another planet that nestles into its home sign and signals a universal embrace of love and beauty. The new moon in Gemini on May 30 brings all of this together into one neatly wrapped opportunity to bring those plans you’ve been making into reality. So if you’re in your favorite diner this month or getting ready to try a restaurant on the other side of your world, don’t worry too much if the math doesn’t check out. This month, you can go for just about anything on the menu. Cosmic calories don’t count.

As ever, Virginia 

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Aries

Taurus

Gemini

Cancer

Leo

Virgo

Libra

Scorpio

Sagittarius

Capricorn

Acquarius

Pisces

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Aries

20 March -19 April

In the 16th century, the Swedish smörgåsbord and Finnish brännvinsbord were small buffet side tables where schnapps and hor d’oeuvres would be served prior to a seated meal. Over time, the Scandinavians expanded the concept to include not just appetizers but the entire meal itself, and the sideboard from which it was served (or, buffet, from the French) came to define the rather chic dining concept more than the piece of furniture. But it wasn’t until the mid 1940’s, when a man named Herb MacDonald started the 1$ “Buckaroo Buffet '' in his Las Vegas casino, that the all-you-can-eat portion of the buffet really took off. Some might also say, that’s when it all started to go downhill. 

 

You’ve been hemming and hawing in front of your buffet table for a while now, lovely Ram, and even though we’ve just exited your birth month you might be starting to get exhausted by your indecision. When Venus and Jupiter enter your sign in the first part of the month you’ll feel a charge of excitement that will shift into turbo by the time Mars comes home to you at the end of the month. But here’s the thing,  and hear me out: maybe it’s time to reflect a bit on what it is you’re really in the mood to eat instead of filling your plate with a little bit of everything from the buffet. Would it be so terrible to sample things a bit before deciding? That Mercury retrograde might actually be a blessing in disguise and a time to think before acting because remember, the sneeze guard wasn’t invented until 15 years after the Buckaroo Buffet. 

 
 
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Taurus

20 April - 20 May

Outstanding in the Field was founded by American artist Jim Denevan in 1999 as a radical alternative to the conventional dining experience. Using his brother’s farm as a template, the project aims to connect diners to the source of their food by bringing them onto the farm where some of it is produced and celebrating the people who keep the food chain strong. It is a “roving restaurant” who’s only constant is the single long table that has been constructed and dismantled anew on farms in all 50 US states and sixteen countries all over the world. The menu changes with each stop and reflects the uniqueness of each and every meal, making it both entirely unpredictable yet eminently reliable. Richard Feynman would have hated it. 

 

If I could, dear Bull, I’d bring you to Outstanding in the Field for your birth month so that you could expand your notion of what reliability really means. It’s been one of your power words for a long time now, but the transit of Aries into Venus on May 2 will allow you to start thinking a little more about the other side of power. You know, the one that lets you own your mission rather than following rules blindly. Mercury retrograde on the 10th is another challenge for you to speak clearly about what you want, and to think clearly about what you need. What you really need. Are you sure you need math to order a salad? What if you’re just in the mood to try something different? By the time your birth month ends and we move into Gemini on May 20, you may find yourself more interested in singular experiences rather than the routine you thought you could map out onto numbers. When May closes with a new moon in Gemini on the 30th, remember this: no math can replace the joy of a meal with those you love. 

 
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Gemini

21 May- 20 June

Heston Blumenthal may just be one of the more glorious geniuses that we have bouncing around on the pale blue dot at the moment. His restaurant, the three-Michelin starred Fat Duck in Bray, England, has in many ways changed the very notion of what it means to consume food. The fourteen course tasting menu that Blumenthal and his team developed features dishes like Sounds of the Sea: seafood is served with a seafood foam on top of a "beach" of tapioca, breadcrumbs and eel. Alongside the dish, diners are given an iPod to listen to crashing waves whilst they eat. There are savoury ice creams and sweet sardines. Everything is meant to confuse and then bewitch the guest, and it works. Heston himself has gone on to become world famous for the experiments, re-creations, and investigations he undertakes to understand the food we eat and the way our minds are involved in it. Could he be anything but a Gemini? 

 

We all know that you are amongst the most inspired minds of our zodiac my dear winged friend, but this month is going to be a much bigger challenge than how to make potatoes float or bubbles into chewy candy. This month, you’re going to have to look inside of yourself and reflect, especially when Mercury moves retrograde on the 10th. Trust me when I tell you that you will need this slowdown because the full moon and partial eclipse in Scorpio on the 16th is going to hit you like a snail porridge to the gut, and you’ll be glad you devoted time to self care to soften the blow. The energy eases off once the sun moves into your birth sign on the 20th, so it’ll be back to making edible wallpaper and sharing it with anyone brave enough to join you. And don’t worry, everyone will join you. 

 
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Cancer

21 June - 21 July

We’ve talked before about Spaghetti alla Nerano, haven’t we? This simple pasta dish has become one of the most famous in Italy of late, thanks in large part to actor Stanley Tucci trying and failing to recreate it on his travel series, Searching for Italy. The recipe, like many great Italian dishes, is deceptively simple and contains only three ingredients: Spaghetti, Zucchini, and Provolone del Monaco, a cow’s cheese from Monte Lattari, located near the southern Italian town of Nerano. Legend surrounds the dishes’ origin and most people fail to capture the magic of what makes it so memorable. However, I have it on good advice that it all has to do with the zucchini that grow in terraced gardens facing out towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, which absorb the salt water into their very fibers and are infused with a flavor that is absolutely impossible to replicate anywhere else in the world. 

 

There’s more than one way to be from the sea, isn’t that right, my dearest Crab? Of course, you’ve been low key saying this for darn near forever but this month you may just have to come slightly out of your shell and raise your voice loud enough for other people to actually hear it. May is a big month for you because the Moon, your ruler, is making big moves all over the sky, first with the full moon and lunar eclipse on the 16th and later with the new moon on the 30th. This might make everyone else a little bit loopy but you, wise Cancer, you got this. Summon your best zucchini blossoms and show those schoolyard bullies how it's done because no one surfs quite like you. And don’t let that pesky retrograde get in the way: besides, who needs wings when you’ve got waves? 

 
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When Louis XIV died in 1715, his stomach was reportedly twice the size of the average human, having gotten that way through what can only be called an exercise in gluttony, perpetrated over decades. A menu routinely included four plates of soup, a pheasant, a partridge, ham, mutton, salad, pastry, fruit, and hard-boiled eggs. He preferred to retire after his meal but required en cas de nuit, a snack meant to sustain him until morning. This would include two bottles of wine, water, three loaves of bread, and perhaps three cold dishes. During the French Revolution the Sun King’s heart was stolen; it was recovered almost a century later in England and upon this revelation the Dean of Westminster, William Buckland, promptly took it upon himself to eat the mummified organ. 

 

If you too have been feeling as though someone is looking to chomp down on you, Leo, you may not be as paranoid as you think. This month brings a little bit of weird energy your way and you might feel uncharacteristically self conscious about what you’d normally consider your greatest assets. The Mercury retrograde and lunar eclipse in Scorpio is going to give you the heebie jeebies, and you may just feel like your points aren’t quite landing the way they should. The good news is that Venus and Jupiter really are on your side, despite the fact that you’re likely to feel a bit of heartburn this month. You’ve been riding high dear Lion, but sometimes you might need to take a moment, protect that giant heart of yours, and make very sure that no one is trying to make a paté out of it.

Leo

22 July - 22 August

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Virgo

23 August - 22 September

If you’ve been to a finer sushi restaurant, you may have been presented with an Omakase menu, and said menu may have been explained to you as a “chef’s choice” based on the catch of the day. In reality, the concept of omakase is much more complex. It refers to the notion of consent, based on the implicit trust of a person to the expert in whose hands they rest. The literal translation is, “I leave it to your care,” which implies a relationship of respect and reciprocity that honors not only the training of the chef, hairdresser, or tailor but the faith the client has put in the process itself. If you are prepared to invoke omakase at a traditional sushi or kaiseki restaurant, be advised that the chef prefers you not wear perfume, and that you speak as little as possible so as not to distract them. 

 

Sounds good, doesn’t it dear Virgo? Though you’re not routinely known for your willingness to leave things in the care of anyone else, we both know that you secretly wish someone else would just take the wheel for a bit and figure out what’s on the menu. Lucky for you, this month presents a few opportunities to test the waters, as your ruling planet Mercury takes you for a bit of a wild ride. How is that lucky, you ask? Well, you simply cannot control the swings and roundabouts that the universe has in store for you, so the retrograde movement from the 10th to 22nd is an especially good time for you to try going with the flow. However, make sure you’re trusting the right people to get the job done for you: Venus’s movements between Aries and Taurus this month means that sometimes the best looking fish isn’t always the freshest. Let’s leave it to the chef to decide. 

 
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Libra

23 September - 22 October

The Old Forge in Scotland claims the title of  ″Most remote bar in the world″  and by all accounts, it is well deserved. There are no roads in or out, and it's either an 18 mile hike over munros or a 7 mile sea crossing to get to the small village of Inverie on the south shore of the Knoydart peninsula. After the pub was threatened by closure in 2021, the town stepped in and decided to purchase it together, making it a community owned pub and public good. As such, the kitchen is undergoing a pretty big overhaul and renovation but for the time being intrepid visitors can still look forward to cask ales and draught beer, cider, craft beers, spirits, malt whiskeys and soft drinks (for the weans). The Old Forge is also known for its musical performances, filling this most remote bar with “craic on high form”. 

 

If you’ve got your Scottish-English dictionary handy my Libra, you’ll note that these things are all very much in your wheelhouse this month, because you’re all about getting away from what’s been bogging you down and finding somewhere far, far away to repair to. It has been a weird stretch for you and that’s not about to change. The Lunar eclipse on May 16 will make you want to run for the munros as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are all in orbit opposing your Sun.  The Mercury retrograde might make you feel a pang of loneliness or regret for some of the not so diplomatic things your normally diplomatic self may have said, but don’t drown too much in your cask ale. By the time Venus moves closer and then into Taurus at the end of the month you might be ready to make amends, and so will anyone else. After all, there’s no craic without you. 

 
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Scorpio

23 October - 21 November

Fugu, or Japanese Pufferfish, contains lethal amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin in its organs, especially the liver, the ovaries, eyes, and skin. The poison paralyzes the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious. The poisoned victim, unable to breathe, eventually dies from asphyxiation. There is no known antidote for fugu poison. Fugu is also among the most expensive dishes one can order and in Japan, chefs must hold a license to prepare and serve it to the public. The poison is so dangerous and the controls so rigorous that the fugu hiki knife is stored separately from other tools.

 

And you know what Scorpio? I bet your mouth is watering right now. I swear, you just cannot help but love a bit of danger. Well, I hate to burst your bubble but May is going to actually be a fairly smooth ride for you and I might even wager that you’ll be able to count the existential threats on one hand. The eclipse and full moon mid month gives you a surge of energy and inspiration that not even Mercury retrograde could stifle, and besides you’ll be way too busy balancing lovely Venus and optimistic Jupiter on your nimble fingers. The real question is, are you going to let yourself enjoy it or find a way to get that black market fugu you think will give you the thrill you need? 

 
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Sagittarius

22 November - 20 December

At his Michelin-starred restaurant, Ekstedt, chef Niklas Ekstedt brings the wilds of Sweden into the heart of Stockholm. Ekstedt has one rule for his kitchen: no gas or electricity allowed. Instead, his menus depend entirely on the use of fire, ash, soot and smoke. Ekstedt has turned to fire along with a number of other famous chefs including Argentinian Francis Mallman, Danish-born Bente Grysbaek, Welsh Tomos Parry, and Australian Lennox Hastie. For each of these chefs, most of whom have had classical or high level culinary training, the return to fire in some way followed a crisis or questioning of their lives. Some of them traveled the world, others retreated to their cabins or farms far away from society. Each of them found in fire what they could not find on land alone. And each has made it into their life’s work. 

 

You know a thing or two about fires, don’t you dear Archer? Whether it's a fireworks show or a slow burn, you’ve always got a flame or two somewhere close; this month, however, you’re going to want to check that you or someone you love doesn’t get burned. How? Well first, Venus in Aries makes you particularly intense in love matters and the full moon eclipse in Scorpio is going to potentially create a firestorm of emotions that you might wish you’d have tempered a bit. Especially when Mercury is in retrograde and you run the risk of your fiery tongue lashing out a few brutal truths. If you can keep the embers stoked but under control until the end of the month, you’re rewarded with a brilliant stroke of fortune by the new moon, where yours will be the light shining brightest in the sky. The moral? Put down the matches, for now. 

 
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Capricorn

21 December - 19 January

Attica restaurant in Melbourne, Australia has become world famous for taking some of the rare ingredients found in and around the region, like Bunya nuts and Emu liver, and elevating them to the status of caviar and foie gras. The chef, Ben Shewry, refuses any sort of signature dish on his tasting menu, preferring instead to “kill his darlings' ' and exhbit a rotating display of indigenous flavors. However one such dish that featured in early menus was “The Industrious Beet”, which he would cook by burying it in the ground on his land. The humble beet itself, coming from the ground and returning to it, only to emerge as an entirely different object altogether, enriched by the elements only found in that spot. 

 

I know you hate my metaphors, Capricorn, but I bet you only hate them because they are so spot on every time. Admit it, we get each other. At the end of last month you  buried yourself inward when mystical Pluto went retrograde, and it did you a world of good. You’ve been slowly roasting and basting and becoming so that by the time Venus moves into fiery Aries, you’re ready to re-emerge just a little bit transformed. And admit it, you didn’t mind that break you took, did you? The self care you focused on in the past months will pay off when Mercury goes retrograde, when you’ll feel much more attached to the ground you so diligently planted yourself in. By the time we hit Gemini season you may just have it in you to have a bit of fun but don’t worry, you’ll always be the Industrious Beet, and we both know it suits you just fine. 

 
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Aquarius

20 January - 17 February

In 1997, Michel Reilhac opened, "Le gout du noir", which was followed in 2003 by "Dans le Noir ?" French entrepreneur Edouard de Broglie in conjunction with the Paul Guinot foundation for the blind foundation. The first permanent restaurant was In September 1999, blind clergyman Jorge Spielmann opened Blindekuh (Blind man's buff in German), in Zurich, Switzerland. What do all of these and more have in common? They’re all dark restaurants, meaning they serve customers food that they cannot see. Each wished to convey the experience of blindness to sighted customers. Spielmann says the idea came after guests who had dined blindfolded at his own home reported greater enjoyment of their meal through the senses of taste and smell. Since then, dark dining has become a worldwide trend, for better or worse. Menus have much more to do with sparking the imagination than with satisfying traditions. 

 

Well, I guess we know what we’re doing for your birthday,  don’t we? Of course, imagination has never been a problem for you, dear Aquarius, and the early transit of aesthetic Venus into fiery Aries gives you all the ammunition in the world to get the creative juices flowing. Your whimsy is helped even further when Jupiter joins Venus in the break room, but just around the corner is a bit of a doozy: the Mercury retrograde coupled with a Scorpio full moon is going to give you pause on the one thing you usually like to push to the side of the plate: your emotional state. But here’s the exercise I want you to consider. Take small bites without worrying too much about what the dish is. If you wind up investigating your emotional self this month, I promise it won’t change you too much. But who knows? After all, things taste a lot differently in the dark. 

 
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Pisces

18 February - 19 March

In 1997, Michel Reilhac opened, "Le gout du noir", which was followed in 2003 by "Dans le Noir ?" French entrepreneur Edouard de Broglie in conjunction with the Paul Guinot foundation for the blind foundation. The first permanent restaurant was In September 1999, blind clergyman Jorge Spielmann opened Blindekuh (Blind man's buff in German), in Zurich, Switzerland. What do all of these and more have in common? They’re all dark restaurants, meaning they serve customers food that they cannot see. Each wished to convey the experience of blindness to sighted customers. Spielmann says the idea came after guests who had dined blindfolded at his own home reported greater enjoyment of their meal through the senses of taste and smell. Since then, dark dining has become a worldwide trend, for better or worse. Menus have much more to do with sparking the imagination than with satisfying traditions. 

 

Well, I guess we know what we’re doing for your birthday,  don’t we? Of course, imagination has never been a problem for you, dear Aquarius, and the early transit of aesthetic Venus into fiery Aries gives you all the ammunition in the world to get the creative juices flowing. Your whimsy is helped even further when Jupiter joins Venus in the break room, but just around the corner is a bit of a doozy: the Mercury retrograde coupled with a Scorpio full moon is going to give you pause on the one thing you usually like to push to the side of the plate: your emotional state. But here’s the exercise I want you to consider. Take small bites without worrying too much about what the dish is. If you wind up investigating your emotional self this month, I promise it won’t change you too much. But who knows? After all, things taste a lot differently in the dark.