Among the revelations in Adam Gopnik's epic dessert story in the current New Yorker: Birthday cake is the most "denatured" food on the planet; there's a pastry chef who's trying to make a dessert that re-creates the sensation of scoring a goal in soccer; and hot ice cream is sort of a white whale for Albert Adri, the pastry chef at elBulli (and brother of Ferran).
Yes, after swearing off sweets, Gopnik hits some of the standards wd~50, elBulli to try to get a handle on just what the heck is really going on with desserts these days. They're kind of weird! They're also very savory! The best part: when Gopnik asks Adri (Albert, not Ferran) if he thinks the classic line between savory and sweet courses can ever be erased completely. Adri's response: "It cant be that an American is asking me that! A hamburger with ketchup and Coca-Cola? Thats the most intense symbiosis of sweet and savory imaginable. Its your cultural theme. As you've probably guessed, it's well worth a read, even if it does echo Bill Buford's 2006 profile of Will Goldfarb a little bit.
Sweet Revolution [NYer]