After my last two posts regarding dubious food, I received an email from a friend in England who said they reminded him about a book he got for Christmas. “The Essential Alan Coren – Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks” and a piece entitled “Eight Legs Worse”.
'The late AC writes about a dinner party where the hostess serves Stuffed Squid, served in its own ink. “Oh Wow, the guests cried. . . . . . Though not a household name where marine biologists foregather, I know why the squid has ink in it. It is so that it can squirt it out to put off predators attempting to eat it. It works.”
He points out that “It is not a question of sqeamishness over this exotic dish or that, it is only one of suspicion and unease when faced with the ambitions of the amateur. For while it is one thing to order tiger stew from an Ulan Bator restaurateur with three rosettes in the Mongolian Michelin, it is quite another to have it ladled out before you in Stoke Newington by an English ophthalmologist whose hobby is deciphering oriental cookbooks.” '
And doesn't he have a point ?
It reminded me of not such a scary eating experience. We were on a job in Malaysia. We had a driver who took us to the local joints to eat. (Our first breakfast at the hotel cost $45 each, our breakfast at his local the following day, $1.60 for four of us). We were always served a really sweet coffee along with dahl and roti at breakfast time. The coffee (that we later discovered was just condensed milk and instant coffee) was poured, very theatrically, at great heights from the pot to the cups. While we didn't think that we would take home the dahl-and-roti-for-breakfast habit, we were all reasonably confident we would love to make that coffee when we got back home.
Heh. What dreamers.
While instant coffee made with condensed milk is perfectly acceptable in the sticky hotness of Malaysia, I cannot begin to think how wrong it would be in New Zealand.
About as appropriate as tiger stew in Stoke Newington, I suspect.