To start off, let me introduce you to my old friend, Kelley. She’s tall, blond, blue eyed, and from the American Midwest. She’s also one of the most well-traveled persons I know and picks up languages at the drop of a hat. One fine day, we’re sitting in a Chinese restaurant in downtown D.C. looking over the menu. Two waiters are waiting patiently behind us, smiles on their faces, as they exchange a couple muted words.
“Do you know what you want?” Kelly asks me, her eyes slowly scanning the long list of items in front of her.
“Yes,” I respond, only to wait a few more minutes for Kelley to decide.
When she finally does, she looks over at the waiters to place our order. In Chinese. The two young men are stunned, quickly take the information down, then scurry away.
“I was ready ages ago but they were complaining about how long we were taking almost as soon as we got the menus. I wanted to see them cringe once they realized I could understand them.”
Moral of the story: always be nice!
“It is, um, how you say, mmmmm….,” she answered, searching for the right words to adequately describe this unusual delicacy. “I think you call it … pig fat?”
Later, at a fast food dive in Pune, India (and I’ll never forget this, the place was called Burger King), I tried some kind of hoagie sandwich that had a tender slab of beef tongue. It was quite good till I peeled back the bread and saw that long, pink tongue (it really looked like a tongue) gaping back at me. (Who knows, it probably wanted to lick me back.) Still, I finished it. The sandwich was tasty (ha ha) but not necessarily because of the flavor of the meat so much as the yummy seasonings and fresh bread.
In Houston, eons ago, I had an opportunity to try crocodile meat. I’d heard they tend to be chewy, but these were deep fried nuggets so, of course, they were good and quite tender. And yes, they tasted like chicken. (I’ve never tried them again to test out that rumor).
I never had the, er, guts to try them out.
Any of you have some foodie misadventures you can share?