Obscure ingredients, tedious techniques, and absurdly complex prep—cooks say some recipes push them to the boiling point. Any step too impractical, time-consuming, or just plain unpalatable can make even the most accomplished cooks hang up their aprons, writes Kim Severson in the New York Times. Even food critics balk when told to harvest sea water or handpick fresh grape leaves.
Severson chafes at a recipe for salmon tartare that calls for “a 4-inch hollow circular stencil” and a baking sheet balancing act. And another for Mexican sausage moronga adds two quarts of pig’s blood to the mix. “If you do not kill your own pig,” the recipe's chef writes, “order it through your butcher.”