« Survey #2 | Main | This Is The End »

Further Ruminations On Eating

I like alcohol, but I've never been a beer person. Since I was so antisocial as a teen, I never got initiated to beer as part of any coming-of-age ritual. So its bitterness remains an unpleasant experience, untainted by feelings of comradeship.

The sensation of bitterness probably evolved to let you know that what you were eating wasn't good for you. So I wonder at what point bitterness evolved from indicating "poison" to indicating "alcoholic oblivion". I think the overall search for oblivion was somewhere in there, especially when the bittersweetness of love just wasn't dragging you down far enough.

I drink wine, but I'm convinced I'm not really a wine person. Based on descriptions of wines, I'm convinced that wine is mostly drunk by people who like to put random things in their mouths and then critique them. If you can say that what's in your mouth has "overtones of slate and petroleum," then it probably ought not to be in there.

I wonder if it's only the English language that describes emotions the same way it describes food. "Bitter", "sweet" and "sour". ("Spicy" isn't so much an emotion as a culture). In some ways this makes sense. If you want to get anything out of English food, you have to induce the correct emotion while you eat it.

But what about the fourth flavor? Can you ever really describe your feelings as salty? Salt is more of a preservative than a food or emotion. This makes sense for pirates, whose lifestyle demands that they hide their true feelings beneath a crust in order to get along. But does it make sense to anyone else? Perhaps, since those of us in the First World are creation's most rapacious pirates. The world is our menu. Yes, thank you, I'll have the Mineral Rights a la West Virginia. And please pass the salt.

On an anthropological side note: was blood the prehistoric equivalent of ketchup? Like ketchup it's both sweet and salty, with the plus that it's a lot easier to get out of the container. That is, once you manage to pin the container down, and you have something sharp. Blood really goes with everything, especially in school lunches.

Time for breakfast.


You know it's possible for most of the world's carnivores that blood *remains* the equivalent of ketchup.

What does this mean for Chicagoans who won't put ketchup on their hotdogs? Are Chicagoans not carnivores, or are hotdogs not meat?

In Chicago we prefer the "original" ketchup.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)