Monday, September 13, 2004

Eeeeewww ...How Can You Eat That?

I love the American palate. Numbed by years of bland, processed foods, quick monochromatic meals and virtually devoid of anything remotely ethnic or God forbid, different. This is a generalization of course as I also know a LOT of Americans with outstanding food tastes and adventurous minds. I'm talking about the people who refuse to see the greatness in in a culinary journey. They want food that is safe and familiar. Familiar is boring. Sure we all get a craving for some simple homecooking but as a way of life? Forget it.

This is a cool article.

I find very little in that article I wouldn't eat. To me, these are the things that make the activity of eating exciting. Organ meats are especially dear to me. I could never figure out why people make silly faces when confronted with the unfamiliar. You can eat one muscle or piece of flesh but not another. Why? Because we as Westerners( for the most part) have the linear Western thought process. If it's unfamiliar, it's bad. I despise that way of thinking as it not only applies to food but virtually any other area from writing to getting fucked up. I might be guilty of habit when it comes to eating on my days off as I only really want Vietnamese or Sushi but these are the cravings that have developed all week from dealing with predominantly "traditional" foods. Except of course for the duck tongues, sturgeon marrow, monkfish liver, tripe etc,,,but even these become passe when you deal with them on a daily basis. I've eaten crispy grasshoppers and found them delicious. I've had what I think was dog( My ex-Filipino sous chef brought some food from his parents, and I asked him what kind of meat it he just was kind of gamey and stringy) it was ok, but not great and I would eat it again. Worm lollipops in Mexico tasted like lollipops with a sweet, crunchy surprise center. Again in Mexico, cow lip tacos fucking rocked as did the goat head menudo brought from my host's sister. Congealed duck blood at a Chinese place in DC ( I forgot the name) was like slightly warm, coppery jello. I absolutely LOVE the taste of blood. I sometimes wish I were a vampire. No, a real one, not the "Look, I'm wearing black and haven't seen sunlight " Goth "vampires" waiting to move out of their parent's home. They kind that sinks his teeth into a vein and sucks the blood. I also think it's truly hot. Old school.
One of my favorite food movies (Asian of course, do they make great food and splatter movies or what?) Eat a Bowl of Tea.(it's been a while. Lot's of chemicals and other food flics have gone through me and I'm pretty sure this was the movie) In it, 2 characters are the ultimate foodies. Proceeding each fuck scene is an even greater food scene. The male character in the end dies, and his dying words were to his lover were "Have you ever eaten a yam from the intestine of a wild boar in Winter?" apparently the digestion and heat cook the yam, the pig's metabolism sped up from trying to stay warm in Winter.
I wanna hang out with people that into food. The pursuit of a passion so great it IS the point of living. It makes everything else seem so..ordinary.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago I attended a banquet given by a client at a Chinese restauarant in Hong Kong . I was served and ate cockerel testicles. Not particularly yummee I thought. Have yout tried them? This article may interest you.

By the way, did you know that Tournedos Rossini was named after the opera composer because of his love for goose liver? And further, that after finishing his opera William Tell he wrote no more opera but spent the last forty years of his life as a chef and worrying about his declining health brought about by the clap? So you and Rossini have something in common...your occupation and a love for goose liver I mean; not the clap!!

Peach melba was invented by the great Escoffier of course and named for the famed opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site will probably make you hungry, then:

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I followed a friend's link to your blog, and have been giggling myself madly at it- thank you for posting your wit publically!
Your mention of 'Eat a Bowl of Tea' reminded me of a very delightfully hunger-inducing foodie film, named 'Tampopo', from Japan. It's bogglingly strange and beautiful and weird. I can't recommend it strongly enough.
Thanks for the good read!

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Tampopo that you're thinking about! Oh, I love that movie. I saw it on the big-screen with the rest of the kids in was a trick that I got us all in to see it.

I think you're right about Westerners. I used to think I was an adventurous eater, until I moved to Hong Kong. The Cantonese pallate! Good lord! bland, slimey, gristley, funky, meaty, everything has eyes. Blech.

I need the prophylactic decay of the Western Supermarket. I once bought a live fish here and watched them stun it with the flat side of the butcher's knife, scale it while it was still alive, then throw it flapping into a bag and then to me. I burst out crying, hurriedly paid for it, then begged a Fillipina helper to take it. Everyone rightly laughed, incredulous, at what a total fucking weiner I am.

We recently went to Sai Kung (a nearby waterfront town) and they had Horseshoe Crabs in the tanks and on the menu. Horseshoe crabs have blue, copper-based blood. You can't eat horseshoe crabs! But the Cantonese insist you can, and they're selling them.


1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best meats I've eaten was sheep's lung in Tibet. Really good taste, good texture. Then on the second one, my brain caught up with my tastebuds and I couldn't swallow another bite. I really wish that hadn't happened. That in the west we've gotten to the point that eating animal organs, no matter how they taste, can make you gag.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was either Tampopo or Eat A Bowl of Tea...I always get them mixed up.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other parts of the world they do eat the eggs of the horse shoe crab.

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