Aug 20, 2012

One Man’s Feast is Another Man’s...

Have you ever eaten anything really strange? What was it and how did you feel about eating it? Let me know.
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 Manila.

Chinese are perfectly pleased

To eat most anything

That once moved—or still does.

The Japanese are fanatics of freshness, too.

Gui-odori, “eat-dance”

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.

What’s inexplicable

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.

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