Tuesday, February 24, 2004

We know that many knitters are also wordsmiths, but judging by some of the knitblogs, many are foodies, too. A story in the Age today -- "Great culinary crimes" -- prescribes penalties for various food crimes (for example, adding chicken to a Caesar salad, "a crime compounded by the presence of the word 'Cajun'"). OK, off the top of my head, here are some examples of local "culinary vandalism":

Abuse of Ingredients

Corn: A classic example of the adage that there is a time and a place for everything. Corn niblets are not inherently offensive, but clearly they belong on the side of one's dinner plate. Did the Taiwanese invent corn? Do they hold a patent on it, earning a few pennies every time another can is opened? Worst offences: corn on pizza, corn sushi, corn in my S*bway sandwich, corn in my green salad.

Wieners in croissants: The French must not know about this, or they would surely bring a case against Taiwan in the World Court of Culinary Crime. You'll find this in every bakery in town: a perfectly good croissant surrounding a freaking hot dog. Mon dieu! There is no excuse!

Hairy pork: Also known as "pork floss." A crime in and of itself. It is a dry, brown substance resembling lint; its relationship to pork is tenuous at best. Worst offences: baked goods topped with hairy pork and mayonnaise, hairy pork sushi (please, someone, alert the Japanese authorities!).

Tea eggs: The concept is not actually criminal -- a regular egg is hard boiled in strong tea rather than plain water -- but the smell should be put to death without the chance to appeal. Every convenience store has a bubbling crock pot full of tea eggs to assault the senses as you walk in (or, in some cases, simply walk past). The eggs are often broken. They've been in there for days. It's just wrong.

Breach of duty

A couple of weeks ago, Bill and I ordered two small pizzas to be delivered. The delivery guy showed up with one. We asked, "Is there another one?" He said, "No." We said, "We ordered two." He said, "I lost one." Blank stares ensued. He returned half an hour later with another pizza. We just hoped he'd gone back for a new one, rather than retracing his steps to "find" the original.

Have you encountered any food felonies lately?

**Added later: I just remembered a good one. This was a couple of months back, and Bill and I had been jonesing for some good old-fashioned home food. I came home from work one day and Bill announced we'd be having a Diner Night! He was making fries and had bought brown bread (hard to find) and processed cheese slices for grilled cheese sandwiches! So he cooked it all up, we piled it on plates, and we dug in. And the brown bread was made of chocolate. That's why it was brown. (But you know what? Once we got past our whole wheat expectations, a warm chocolate-and-cheez sandwich wasn't all that bad!)

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