Testing, tasting and transference of cuisine
The Editor, Sir,
There have been indications in the recent past that we seem to be having additions to our traditional diet. Some are proteins. And we should not be too surprised since, as technology and transportation shrink the world, there is bound to be testing, tasting and transference of cuisine - among other things. So we need to brace ourselves to see some strange offerings on the dinner table that have been staples in the diets of other peoples for hundreds of years. I can think of spiders, worms, bats, beetles, chimpanzees and lizards. I was delighted with frogs' legs and stuffed myself with them - until I was told that they not the same hot wings offered at KFC - but actual frogs' legs. Add a little ginger to rats when they are being seasoned and, after grilling, they are indistinguishable from pork.
Mexico is the only remaining country among the 11 countries that still eat dogs that is to be found in the western hemisphere. And the old salami from Italy was mostly donkey meat. In some countries, this meat carries a strong smell and is quite tough. In others - for reasons I cannot explain - donkey meat is soft and sweet, even. I suspect most of us has been eating horse meat and enjoying it without knowing that it's horse meat.
A COMPLETE SURPRISE
What comes as a complete surprise to me is that we are led to believe that an attempt is being made to add plastic rice to our diet. We are told that one woman found the item in her rice when she was cooking. Some days later, another woman from another parish found this item and decided that it would function better as golf balls. The first surprise for me comes from the response of Minister Samuda. He has started by investigating importers and carrying out all kinds of tests, revealing that we have technical staff that know some food technology. Personally, I would start from the other end. Since that discovery is not widespread, I would start with the two cooks and ask, "when and where did you buy this product?" Assuming that no mischief is found, I would put the same question to the shopkeeper.
However, as the minister continues to sort through this rice controversy, my own position is, once bitten, rice shy. I always preferred yams and dasheen. For those who think the rice is right, they need not fear any serious gastronomic consequences. It is likely to come out in the same condition it went in - hopefully through a different opening.