When 28-year-old data analyst Arseny dreamed up the dish he now refers to as "King’s Hand," the meal was the main course of a feast during a festival celebration — but, like most dreams, he said, recalling the details was a little hazy.
“I wish I remembered more about the King's Hand dream other than King's Hand, [but that's] kind of the nature of it, right?" he told BuzzFeed News. "Normally you don't remember a dream."
The fictional dish — a hollow, hand-shaped M&M cookie stuffed with a Greek salad — was so intriguing to Arseny that he insisted on re-creating it in real life. He said the entire journey was completely worth it.
“At the end, I was stunned by how well it turned out. I was super proud of it and I took a bite out of it. I was like, heck yeah,” said the baking enthusiast.
Arseny, who is from Madison, Wisconsin, shared that after waking from his dream, he immediately typed out the ingredients in a group chat "so that all of my friends would know it — and then I also kind of would force myself to have to make it now that I put it out into our friend group, although they of course told me not to," he said.
Despite the lack of encouragement from his friends, Arseny pressed on with what he described as a “heavily improvised” recipe by first sourcing a giant silicone hand mold.
“I remembered how it looked, but I never saw anybody making it. So I just had to conceptualize what it is that I would have to do to even make this dream food resemble what I remembered it looking like," he said. "I watched The Great British Bake Off and I enjoy baking, but I don't know if that experience helped me too much with this process.”
Arseny admits that there were moments when doubt began to creep in, saying that at one point he “felt like a complete idiot.”
“I was thinking, This doesn't make sense, but of course it doesn't make sense. I saw it in a dream. This recipe isn't real, and I'm not following any, so I kind of just made it up, which I think is reflected in the thread — but listen, people, if you try to do it, don't trust everything that I've written,” he warned.
Since sharing his masterpiece online, Arseny said he intentionally avoided giving people a taste review.
“It's hard for me to tell you how King's Hand tasted," he said. "I dreamed it up in my dreams, so when I bit into it, it was very rewarding. I was like, oh my god, I'm eating my dream food. If another person were to bite into King's Hand, they could barf. I don't know.”
Some users online haven’t wasted any time and have tried to re-create the recipe; the innovator encouraged others to do so if they wanted to get a true sense of the flavors.
As Arseny explained: “I think if they want to know how King’s Hand tastes, they should bake it themselves and tell me. Somebody actually did that, so I have one testimonial; they baked it and they said it's shit.”
With more than 20,000 retweets on his now-viral thread detailing the process, Arseny’s experience of his typically quiet Twitter account has been one out of the ordinary; it has opened him up to various responses, some of which haven’t been entirely pleasant.
“I'm just constantly watching the thing refresh and seeing what everybody says. Some things are very mean. I think people need to think about the fact that I do see these,” said Arseny.
Brushing off some of the negativity, the King’s Hand creator shared that he has been able to laugh at the vast majority of the comments and identified common themes emerging.
Arseny said that some people have reached out and shared their own dream foods. Others are telling him directly: "This is disgusting."
He said he was generally amused by the people who were outright disgusted over his choice to mix an M&M cookie with a Greek salad.
“I don't know why people are reacting like, 'this is absolutely disgusting,'" he said. "It's just cucumber and M&M cookie. They're not even blended together. The texture is fine. I gotta say, they're both crunchy.”