(*To any dearest reader: major self-referencing writing in this particular article. Cautiously proceed!)
I am not a Generation X kid. I was only 6 (exclamation point!) when Trainspotting came out and became the massive phenomenon it is. But I do have my own reasons to feel that it ‘represents’ some of me, lots of me. Trainspotting has been a major stepping stone in my love for cinema and music. I watched the 1996 original when I was 14-15 years old, completely clueless about whatever is depicted in the film; and I loved it, loved it from the first moment, without even understanding some essentials of it. I still love it, having watched it numerous times since then.
In just a sentence, Trainspotting is the story of a group of junkies in 80s-90s Edinburgh, centered around Ewan McGregor’s Renton. Junkies of various types: drugs, gym, fights, football, shopping, etc., and shows how far their addictions may lead them. Shows, but without trying to teach/preach. And that’s what makes it so controversial and brilliant at the same time.
Trainspotting ‘taught’ me a side of Cinema. Call me a film-junkie! The British-made (put Ireland in!) cinema. I discovered “Quadrophenia”, “Full Monty”, “Withnail and I”, “In the name of the father”, “Shallow Grave” (ok, this was an obvious one!) because I loved Trainspotting. And I’m just dropping random, instant-thought names here. (P.S.: I at least knew Sean Connery as James Bond back then. Some years passed before I learned also what was the ‘Pussy Galore’).
Trainspotting ‘taught’ me sides of music I was too young to know then. Either concerning ‘classic’ names like David Bowie, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Lou Reed and Velvet Underground or a window to the whole Britpop wave, of which I only happened to know Oasis (through a cassette of “What’s the story morning glory” that I hand-recorded when I was… a ‘baby’ at 13). And then here there was Blur, New Order and Joy Division. And through those, here was my teenage self wandering into record/CD stores of my hometown, searching for those names. And more, and more. And to Trainspotting I owe my love to punk, post-punk, new wave, genres which I discovered afterwards.
And I am still feeling clueless and hungry, eternally learning.
Trainspotting is not the best movie I’ve ever seen (allow me to use that characterization). But it’s a f****** amusing one, a roller-coaster ride, that makes you laugh, tricks you into its tripping vibe, only to then hit you in the stomach. With a particular death scene(s). With a particular taxi-ride to a hospital, where ‘Perfect Day’ finds its ideal incarnation. With its multiple interpretations of ‘Choose Life’.
I would write about Trainspotting sooner or later, given the reasons mentioned above. What triggers this post NOW, is the ‘sequel’ T2 that came out some months ago. So I felt I ‘owed’ it to myself to pay a tribute. I saw T2 the same day it came out in Greek cinemas (of course I did!), and this is my fangirl photo:
Did I like it? Yes and no. It is not a ‘bad’ film. Actually it is a rather well-directed, well-played, well-soundtracked one. But there is the number “2” there, marking the legacy of the first film. And this one surely does not manage to reach the high level of its past. My feeling is that it seems to ‘try’ too much, lacking a spontaneity and a rhythm outside a written scenario. I read somewhere that there are two kinds of opinions of the people who will see T2: those who will hate it due to its inability to convey the same energy 20 years later, and those who will enjoy it despite its drawbacks, given the nostalgia. Call me a sucker, but as soon as ‘Lust for life’ was on, I entered the second group.
Now, food inspired by the Trainspotting universe. Hm, not obvious. Any Toxic-like substances are excluded. So, let’s be imaginative. You see the soundtrack cover, you see the poster of T2: toilets everywhere! And here comes in mind on of the most memorable scenes of the film: the worst toilet in Scotland.
Disgustingly amazing scene! Or, amazingly disgusting scene, suit yourself. Find me anyone who disagrees on that. Shit everywhere! And Renton digs in, happily swimming into a ‘sea’ of don’t-wanna-know what, into a dreamy situation with Brian Eno’s hypnotizing tunes on the background. And then, deep breath, he comes out.
Not the most obvious scene as an inspiration for anything edible, one might suppose. But then, I read that the filming of that scene was rather pleasant; what the audience sees as disgusting shit,etc, is actually chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Yum yum chocolate.
So, I thought of a chocolate mousse. But an easy-made and quick one. Who from the Trainspotting gang would like to spend more than 10 minutes to prepare something to eat? So, far from the classic chocolate mousse with the egg yolk pasteurization, meringue, melted chocolate staff, I decided to share my version of chocolate dessert, which I honor tremendously whenever I desperately want chocolate and wasn’t prudent enough to buy any. It’s more a cream than mousse actually, made simply by 3 ingredients: yogurt, cocoa and honey. If you don’t like yogurt, or expect its taste to disappear, this is not a dessert for you. So, allow me to call it a chocolate-yogurt mousse. A substitute for those tough, chocolate-seeking moments.
Whether you would like its taste or not, this dessert is far from shitty. And what I can guarantee, it won’t send you to the toilet (check the yogurt expiration date for that matter!).
So, put some music on, and dig in.
Ingredients (for one person, on selfish-Renton-mode):
- 250 gr Greek yogurt
- 1-2 table spoons honey
- 2-3 table spoons of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- fresh fruits, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, nuts for garnish
How to make it:
Put the yogurt and honey in a bowl and combine. Add the cocoa in the mix through a sift, in order to avoid lumps, and mix altogether until you have a mousse-like cream. Have a taste, and add more cocoa or honey, upon preference.
Serve with fresh fruit, nuts, instant coffee or anything you like. As for the coffee, you can put some inside the mix too along with cocoa.
And.. choose bite!