Sunday, June 24, 2007


(PICTURE: 'What does taste have to do with it?")

When we were camped in northwest Iran we were near the Caspian Sea. Caviar, which comes from there, was plentiful and cheap. We could have it every meal if we chose. I chose not. I know there are different grades of caviar and we were getting what the French might call the “street variety.” But what the French call “street wine” is pretty good wine to my taste. This Iranian caviar was not to my taste.

Much of the Iranian food was pretty good though. They dry roasted pistachios, leaving them coated with salt crystals. Many time I made a meal out of them alone. American protective regulations boost the price of pistachios quite a bit and they are not as good as the “street variety” in Iran. Their kiln baked bread is good, although you might find an occasional rock imbedded. It’s baked on heated rocks.

Throughout the world available supply has a lot to do with people’s preference in food. Rare food is often more prized than plentiful varieties. If you had lobster 10 days in a row, what would you rather have, lobster or chicken? Most people would go for the chicken.

Even further, if lobster were 10 times more available than chicken, then chicken would be regarded as the delicacy and lobster the mundane. I bought a “milk roast chicken” at our local Bangkok super market. (I have no idea of the process involved in “milk roasting” a chicken although I tried to find out.) The product of this preparation was at least equal to any lobster I have ever tasted. Luckily, in my mostly Buddhist household, the entire chicken was left to me. (They will fudge their Buddhism when certain delicacies like pizza are brought in the house.)

On the subject of Thai food, the garlic here is not very good. I have tried using it in different ways, even raw. When raw it only a little hot but still not garlicy enough. I have never gotten a garlic burp here and that is what I’m going for---that garlic aftertaste.

Two ways to judge a meal are how it tastes when eaten and how it feels afterward. Some great tasting meals do not settle well. The other day, looking for a quick meal, I opened a 190 G (6.7 Oz) of mackerel in tomato sauce, poured it over bread and microwaved it. Well sir, I’m here to tell you, my stomach came up and shook my hand and said thank you. I’m thinkin’, my stomach is like a cheap date. Why go through all the trouble when it’s so easily pleased?

That’s all for now. I’m off to get a two day supply of Subway spicy Italian sandwiches. They may not please my stomach but they sure taste good.


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