Why Would We Eat That?
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Why Would We Eat That?

I love food. My whole family loves food. In fact, we joke that our family motto is "You Put Butter, Salt & Pepper On It, And We Will Eat It." However, there are some foods that just plain confuse me. Who thought of eating it first? Why? Was it a dare? And, having tasted it once, who thought it would make a fine dish to eat on a regular basis? These are my questions. Below is a partial list. I actually thought of five or six more, but upon reflection, decided to stick with just these ten:

1. Artichokes--The dictionary defines this food as "a thistle-like plant with a scaly flower-head". That alone should put one off. They are so work-intensive to prepare, you would starve if that's all you had to eat. The calories you use to prepare it would use up more than the calories you would consume, even if it were soaked in butter. You know what I think? I think some rich dude in antiquity thought it up to keep his slaves busy.

2. Brains--At some point in time there must have been a moment when some poor animal was lying dead on a butcher-block somewhere, its skull split open, and I don't know who looked at its skull's contents and went, "Hmmm...you know, that looks mighty good." Was it Nimrod? Some cannibal that was tired of people? Goodness knows the average person doesn't think they look good. They don't even look nutritious.

3. Casu Marzu--Now this just doesn't make any sense at all. Look it up in Wikipedia--you won't believe it. Simply put, casu marzu is a pecorino cheese that they have allowed to, well, decompose. It is ready when it sprouts maggots. Then, maggots and all, it is spread on bread and eaten. And casu marzu isn't the only wormy cheese in the world that people eat. Apparently there are several. And get this--these worms jump, so afficianados of casu marzu hold their hands above the surface of their sandwiches so they don't get an eyeful or a noseful of worm. Why eat this? Why?

4. Catfish(although carp sounds funnier)--I can see if it's the only thing you have to eat, but when you have the choice between something that tastes like mud and anything else, why would you pick catfish? Actually, catfish isn't all that weird compared to all the others, but still; why willingly eat it if you don't have to?

5. Chicken Feet--No. No. Chicken feet is just wrong. They're basically gelatin with skin on them; and not nice, crispy skin, either, but something that looks like it has been afflicted with eczema. Plus, it (I suppose 'they', since feet usually come in pairs. I wonder if, when selling chicken feet, they sell them in pairs, and if they do, did both feet belong to the same chicken? But I digress) has been running around in dirt and chicken poo all its life.

6. Chocolate Covered Insects--I'm sorry, but I just don't see these nestled in crinkly paper and sold by the dozen in pink heart-shaped boxes on Valentine's Day anytime soon. On a regular basis, anyway.

7. The Weird Parts Of Cod (Why Do So Many Of These Start With The Letter "C"?)--Being part Newfie my family has had occasion to eat cod's heads and cod's tongues, a specialty in Newfoundland. My great-aunt Nell, who prepared these lovely dishes for my sister and I, couldn't understand what the fuss was about when I pushed my dish of cods heads away and Rhonda did the same with her cods tongues. I couldn't stand the thought of consuming skin on skull and she kept thinking hers was kinda like what you would expect in a movie called "Jason French Kisses", only with fish instead of people.

8. Fugu Fish--This is just a crazy-ass idea. If even a tiny bit of the poison of the fugu, or puffer, fish is left, then the victim is paralyzed and everything stops working--including the ability to breathe. Evidently the poor sod remains fully conscious until he or she is, well, dead. And there is no known antidote! Is this dish outlawed? Noooooo--instead it is strictly controlled, and even then "accidental poisoning" still happens; even so, it has become one of the most celebrated dishes in Japan.

9. Rocky Mountain Oysters--OK. So after that weird chef up there in choice # 2 finishes with the skull, then he looks at the poor calf's dad, and thinks, "If I was a cowboy, what would I eat off that big dude there?" We'd all be perfect today if Eve had tried them instead of that fruit: Eve: "Here Adam, try these." Adam: "Uh-uh, no way man, forget it. Hey, God! Can you put these back? And maybe replace the little woman there with someone sane? I don't trust her anymore."

10. Sheep's Eyes--OK; I can see some shepherd way back in time trying to gross out his pals by stuffing one in his mouth, but who decided it was something you should have as a side dish in a civilized meal? When did it stop being a practical joke? What chef lacked a sense of humor to such a degree that when some sheik, all laughing like, said, "here, put these on my pal's plate and tell him it's a delicacy," the chef believed him? And did just that?

So there you have it; my top ten Foods That Confuse Me. Maybe you have foods that confuse you. If so, I hear ya, brother/sister. I hear ya.


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