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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Thing To Do Today: eat.

It's three thirty pm, and due to various unforeseen circumstances I haven't had lunch, yet.

Or, indeed, breakfast.

Oh, and eating is just so wonderful. Sinking your teeth into...well, you'd better fill in yourself what you most like to sink your teeth into, because if there's a kind of food that pleases everyone then I don't know what it is.

I mean, apparently the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Philippines don't like cheese! 

There are other people, however, who love cheese as long as it's not it's made with cows; some who'll eat cows but not if they're cooked with butter; and some people who view cow products with such great reverence that they don't even turn their noses up at its urine.

Some people don't eat seafood because it's banned by God, and some people don't eat seafood because when they were young by the time the seafood cart got to their village it was most likely lethal. Some people don't eat seafood because it's disgusting, and some people don't eat seafood because it makes them go purple and stop breathing.

All fair enough.

Rats are usually shunned as food because they carry plague, but the Great Cane Rat carries monkey pox (which is quite surprising as the Great Cane Rat isn't either a rat or a monkey, but something more like a porcupine).

Indonesian bats are delicious as long as you're not Muslim or Jewish, but Muslims can eat ostrich while observant Jews can't (and really you'd have to be a very unobservant Jew not to notice you were eating an ostrich). Jews are fine with giraffes, though.

Hardly anyone eats cats, though there's a German word Dachhase, or roof-hare, which describes a cat passed off as a hare.

In Somalia mostly you can't marry anyone who eats fish.

Salad, then? Surely vegetables are harmless?

In Early Mediaeval Europe uncooked foods were thought to be slightly dodgy, and there were penances for eating them.

Cooked vegetables don't come off very much better. Some religions ban onions because are said to inflame the passions (which is not my experience at all: quite the reverse, in fact). Jains won't eat turnips. The Yazidi don't eat lettuce. Pythagoreans don't eat beans (possibly because they are believed to have souls). Some people won't eat raspberries because there might be insects lurking inside them, and you can't import poppy seed to Singapore.

But still, eating is terrific, isn't it. One of the very great pleasures of life. I heartily recommend it an interesting and varied diet. I've heard that baked tarantulas contain some white slimy stuff that's absolutely delicious.

But for me, now, it's whatever's in the fridge. And quite possibly everything that's in the fridge. 

Let me to it!

Thing To Do Today: eat. This word comes from the Old English etan, and goes right back to the Sanskrit admi.

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