Did you ever wonder…?

November 2, 2009

J and G anniversary pix

Anniversary 2008

Did you ever wonder who decided which mushrooms were safe to eat? And how many people died trying to figure it out? What about things like poke salad and dandelion greens – who decided how long to cook them, and determined that you had to pour out the beginning water and boil them again or they would kill you?

Can’t you just imagine the look on the face of the first Frenchman who actually swallowed a snail? How hungry was he – really – to decide that was palatable? And how many ants did some chef drown in boiling liquids before he came up with the bright idea to cover them with chocolate?

Different cultures enjoy different delicacies. What makes us think stuffing a lot of eyes, entrails and other detestable portions of an animal into a tube and calling it a hot dog is any more edible than an actual dog (which I have eaten, and other than being bony, it’s not bad)? Some folk eat cats, but I won’t tell Monet. ..

Tonight I had a delicacy for dinner. It was just one of those nights when real food didn’t appeal (aren’t we blessed to have the choice?!). The peanut butter and walnuts I put on my banana split made it a full meal and made up for all the bad stuff in the ice cream. Years from now, someone will ask, “Do you ever wonder who thought of splitting open a banana, filling it with ice cream, and calling it a meal?

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4 Responses to “Did you ever wonder…?”

  1. Johanna Fenton Says:

    Lovely! I’ve been thinking lately how some of the things we eat are really strange. Cheese and crackers, for example. I gave a bit of cheese on top of a cracker to a New Guinean friend to try. She was horrified at the taste. And I don’t know if I can blame her. It’s not like cheese and crackers grow on trees in the jungle. They aren’t natural, in one sense.


    • I remember one of my Ayta friends refusing to eat jello. That was just too weird for them. Most of the Ayta people I knew wouldn’t eat spaghetti, either. Looked like worms to them. And my language helper – a more educated woman – refused ham because she thought it wasn’t cooked. You’re right. A lot of our food is pretty strange!

  2. paul merrill Says:

    I love the story of how a Chinese emperor got tired of food and had his peasants go out to try EVERYTHING. Many died, but one food I enjoy a lot as a result is tomatoes! They were thought to be poison until his initiative.


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