Sunday, March 10, 2013

My kingdom for a horse (sausage), part two ... the backlash bits.

Part one here.

Andrew Higgins ends his New York Times piece about food as a barometer of the European Union's enduring cultural divisions with this observation:

Some French fans of horse meat are hoping that the fuss could add a frisson of excitement to eating horses and help lift the stigma from a fare that, even in France and Belgium, is generally viewed as old-fashioned and uncool. Several popular Paris restaurants are reported to be interested in adding horse to their menus.

Make it organic and locate a euphemism, and we may have a deal.

Ever since the European "horse meat in my Whopper" scandal broke, I've been thinking back to a couple of magazine pieces written by John Ed Pearce in the late 1980's in the CJ's old Sunday magazine, in which the perennial curmudgeon sought to offend every dog lover in the metro area by professing the culinary potential (and cultural relativity) of Bowser Burgoo and other canine dishes. Folks were plenty steamed, but really, aren't parts just parts once you've resolved to eat meat?

In an era of foodie-ism, the literal hot dog is an idea whose time finally may have come, although some eaters are ready for a systemic counter-revolution, as considered in this Guardian essay from the fall of 2012. The excerpt below makes reference to The Trip, which the Confidential household viewed last year. Poole's essay is lengthy, but well worth the time, so put some civet coffee in the Ikea press pot, and enjoy a good read.

Let's start the foodie backlash, by Steven Poole (Guardian)

Food is the new sex, drugs and religion. Cookery dominates the bestseller lists and TV schedules. Celebrity chefs have become lifestyle gurus and cooking is referred to as a high art. Steven Poole has had his fill of foodism.

 ... One thing I do know is that "brawn" is pâté made from a pig's head: the name is an obvious example of menu euphemism. Verbs tend to ascribe benign agency to the parts of a dead animal, as with the announcement by the waiter at L'Enclume who, in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's TV series The Trip, introduces a dish thus: "You've got some little manx queenies which are baby queen scallops. They're resting on grilled baby gem and parsley coulis as well as a light creamy horseradish sauce." When the waiter leaves, Brydon comments: "Rather optimistic to say they're 'resting'. Their days of resting have been and gone. They are dead."

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