Mexican chef creates $25,000 taco — but no takers yet

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This undated handout photo released by Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort on March 7, 2017 shows the most expensive “taco” in the world in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico. The taco, which is prepared by the resort’s chef with corn tortilla, golden flakes, shrimps, Kobe meat, Beluga caviar, black truffle, Brie cheese and a special hot sauce, costs 25.000 US dollars. (AFP)
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This undated handout photo released by Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort on March 7, 2017 shows the most expensive “taco” in the world in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico. The taco, which is prepared by the resort’s chef with corn tortilla, golden flakes, shrimps, Kobe meat, Beluga caviar, black truffle, Brie cheese and a special hot sauce, costs 25.000 US dollars. (AFP)
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This undated handout photo released by Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort on March 7, 2017 shows the most expensive “taco” in the world in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico. The taco, which is prepared by the resort’s chef with corn tortilla, golden flakes, shrimps, Kobe meat, Beluga caviar, black truffle, Brie cheese and a special hot sauce, costs 25.000 US dollars. (AFP)
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This undated handout photo released by Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort on March 7, 2017 shows the most expensive “taco” in the world in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico. The taco, which is prepared by the resort’s chef with corn tortilla, golden flakes, shrimps, Kobe meat, Beluga caviar, black truffle, Brie cheese and a special hot sauce, costs 25.000 US dollars. (AFP)
Updated 09 March 2017
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Mexican chef creates $25,000 taco — but no takers yet

MEXICO CITY: Shrimp, caviar, truffle and gold flakes aren’t standard ingredients in Mexico’s popular tacos. But chef Juan Licerio Alcala uses them to create the world’s most expensive taco at $25,000.
No one has ordered one. Yet.
The handheld dish made of a corn or wheat tortilla folded around a filling is low-cost fare in Mexico.
Licerio, the chef at the Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort, a luxury vacation destination in Baja California, told AFP he decided to think outside the box.
“People are excited and a little surprised about how you can eat a taco for $25,000 (497,000 pesos) when you can find one on the street for 10 pesos,” he said.
“Then I explain the delicacy, the technique and the harmony that they will lift from the plate, and that it’s worth it.”
To make the over-the-top dish, the chef takes a corn tortilla speckled with 24 carat gold flakes and fills it with Kobe beef, shrimp, Almas Beluga caviar and black truffle Brie cheese.
The taco is dressed with a salsa based on Morita chiles and civet coffee, a pricey liquid made from the fermented droppings of a civet which has eaten the berries of a coffee plant.
For good measure, gold flakes are sprinkled on top.
A week after the outrageously pricey dish hit the menu, no one has ordered it, the chef admitted.
But he said many have shown interest, mostly US customers who like to “push the boundaries.”
Ordering the world’s most expensive taco has its own particular method. First, a customer has to put down a $12,500 deposit and already be staying in the presidential suite.
The dish is presented in the middle of the desert encircled by motorcycles, or during a marriage proposal.
“We can adjust to the guest,” Licerio said.
If money is no object, the chef has just the tipple to complement the taco: the luxury tequila Pasion Azteca, at $150,000 a bottle.


Gaming addiction classified as mental health disorder by WHO

Updated 7 min 37 sec ago
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Gaming addiction classified as mental health disorder by WHO

  • Addiction to video games has been recognized by World Health Organization as a mental health disorder
  • The International Classification of Diseases now covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death

GENEVA: Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing.
In its latest revision to a disease classification manual, the UN health agency said Monday that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition. The statement confirmed the fears of some parents but led critics to warn that it may risk stigmatizing too many young video players.
WHO said classifying “gaming disorder” as a separate addiction will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks. The agency and other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are still very rare, with no more than up to 3 percent of all gamers believed to be affected.
Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s department for mental health and substance abuse, said the agency accepted the proposal that gaming disorder should be listed as a new problem based on scientific evidence, in addition to “the need and the demand for treatment in many parts of the world.”
Dr. Joan Harvey, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society, warned that the new designation might cause unnecessary concern among parents.
“People need to understand this doesn’t mean every child who spends hours in their room playing games is an addict, otherwise medics are going to be flooded with requests for help,” she said.
Others welcomed WHO’s new classification, saying it was critical to identify people hooked on video games quickly because they are usually teenagers or young adults who don’t seek help themselves.
“We come across parents who are distraught, not only because they’re seeing their child drop out of school, but because they’re seeing an entire family structure fall apart,” said Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a spokeswoman for behavioral addictions at Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. She was not connected to WHO’s decision.
Bowden-Jones said gaming addictions were usually best treated with psychological therapies but that some medicines might also work.
The American Psychiatric Association has not yet deemed gaming disorder to be a new mental health problem. In a 2013 statement, the association said it’s “a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion” in its own diagnostic manual.
The group noted that much of the scientific literature about compulsive gamers is based on evidence from young men in Asia.
“The studies suggest that when these individuals are engrossed in Internet games, certain pathways in their brains are triggered in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict’s brain is affected by a particular substance,” the association said in that statement. “The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior.”
Dr. Mark Griffiths, who has been researching the concept of video gaming disorder for 30 years, said the new classification would help legitimize the problem and strengthen treatment strategies.
“Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view,” said Griffiths, a distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “Gamblers use money as a way of keeping score whereas gamers use points.”
He guessed that the percentage of video game players with a compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small — much less than 1 percent — and that many such people would likely have other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or autism.
WHO’s Saxena, however, estimated that 2 to 3 percent of gamers might be affected.
Griffiths said playing video games, for the vast majority of people, is more about entertainment and novelty, citing the overwhelming popularity of games like “Pokemon Go.”
“You have these short, obsessive bursts and yes, people are playing a lot, but it’s not an addiction,” he said.
Saxena said parents and friends of video game enthusiasts should still be mindful of a potentially harmful problem.
“Be on the lookout,” he said, noting that concerns should be raised if the gaming habit appears to be taking over.
“If (video games) are interfering with the expected functions of the person — whether it is studies, whether it’s socialization, whether it’s work — then you need to be cautious and perhaps seek help,” he said.