Here’s a ditty about some of my strange and stranger dining experiences—plus thoughts on why we humans eat the things we do. It ain’t always just about taste.
Americans ate heartily of horseflesh,
a mere century ago.
The English still eat with impunity
Christmas Pudding (the more lard the merrier)—
That is years old.
They lack disdain for internal organs,
Like some Native American tribes,
The Japanese, and Central Americans as well
(Menudo: Tomato-intestine soup).
Terrapin soup, though
Not appetizing to me
is an aphrodisiac to the Japanese,
Who also treasure the slightly-to-deadly
Toxic puffer fish flesh—
Raw or otherwise.
An ardent Afghanistani admirer
Once made me goat stew.
And was it dog or not,
I dared not ask at the cafeteria in
Chinese are perfectly pleased
To eat most anything
That once moved—or still does.
The Japanese are fanatics of freshness, too.
Means eating something that's still living.
A charming kimono-clad lady once
Served me a still-struggling
Skewered sashimi of who-knows-what fish.
The Japanese also have a penchant
For the contents of crab crania.
It comes in little jars like jam—
all the better department stores carry it.
Outside one’s culture,
is the association that makes food pleasing—
vigor, prestige, memories of childhood.
Is Hawaiian poi innately appealing?
Or fermented soybeans (natto)
With the gooey texture of okra
And the smell of high school locker room?
These may be foods only a mother could love,
Or the former child of same
who grew up with them.
Let’s admit at least this . . .
One man’s feast is another man’s, well,
Would you mind passing the potatoes?
Copyright© 2007 by Tumerica. All Rights Reserved.