Silly Grins

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Often Raw or Just Slightly Cooked

Often Raw or Just Slightly Cooked: More of the Shit

Quick Background: 

Unintentionally flushed the big file (Parts II-IV were lost). Part V of The Series hasn’t been written yet. Part II does tie into Part IV. Part V…well, we get there when we get there. 

For now…heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Number Two. Get it? The title and the number?

Okay, so, humor isn't one of those talents everyone is born with (thank heavens).

But what about hunger?

Life serves up dishes of all kinds. I'd like to be able to say that I have a stomach that can handle them all. At least that's what I used to think, kind of like pride. Twisted pride that comes with a humbled sort of upbringing.

Handle all of those dishes the four-letters that spell L-I-F-E serves up? 

Look…unless it's a case of survival, being able to make a decision as to what you gotta swallow would be nice. Like food, life's dishes aren't always served up in nice, neat packages…at least not the stuff that is good for you.

And no. No amount of dough will change the fact of what you’re putting in your mouth is less than palatable. Now, like most people, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to swallow (or even taste it).


Let's go down the menu. Yes, Let's.

A 'Delicate' Food List


Both raw and cooked.  At first, a rule similar to “in Asia, eat, don't ask” crossed the mind. Later on, after learning about bioaccumulation, bogus science, and toxic waste, the dishes no longer appeared to be so appetizing. Can say, “Been there, done that,” but just not in front of any PETA members or fellow Greenpeace hyper-activists. 

What about dolphin? 


(Hangs head in shame) Yeah, one of them too. Unknowing at the time.

The truth is, if someone from a tribe offered me a dish of something traditional, yeah, I'd still eat it, out of respect. But not anything that's been packaged and shipped to a supermarket for consumption by a faceless consumer to be thanklessly shat out of asses, thoughtlessly slid through the lap of luxury thrones. (Yeah, a run-on sentence… tis the nature of this particular post, no?).

Raw pork?

Raw oink:

Sorry Wilber.  Only once.  And not too much. The table was full of other dishes and the drunken subject of conversation swerved and staggered a little at just the right time.


Live fish:

Translucent and swimming or writhing in the cup of purportedly raw egg white and alcohol-ish liquid. The dinner was sponsored by someone high up on the social food chain, practically at the top, so I felt I had an excuse to drink my portion and ask the person sitting next to me if they’d mind if I helped myself to theirs. Definitely a case of young and hungry.

Raw Chicken:

Still drunk, young, and hungry enough (yeah, again). Only this time the body went into catch and release mode. Food poisoning sucks blows hard sometimes. What woke up as an ill, morning after feeling a deceptively safe two-meter stagger-step to the chamber turned out to be as close as the other side of the Grand Canyon. Vertigo spun the feet as the first shuffle veered to the side, cheeks clenched in prayers for safety from the visceral rumblings. Hands shot out to either side, hoping for balance. Big mistake. 

streaming tears wet cheeks
parting of the thunderous billows 
a torrid moment of release...
the heavens rain down

such fell a dark curtain
of unpalatable putrid squall
a brief moment of silence 
before the throne

The only saving grace was the falling forward onto one knee to pay homage to the immaculate porcelain bowl that was soon filled with Technicolor glory. A moment to remember. 

Raw Bovine

Check. Usually the luscious liver, but not lately. Let us lament

Raw Horse:

Yup, but mostly tendon... sorry Ed.

The “other stuff” category includes:

insect (not raw)

grubs (raw)

amphibian (cooked on coals... sort of)

rapidly slithering reptile 
(battered and lightly fried asap... before the park rangers showed up)

slowly sliding snail (homegrown)

All in the name of sustenance…  


There are some dishes I just won't try, unless I kind of have to.
Otherwise, we’ll just practice attempting to stay healthy. From now on. (Right)

But none of this prepared me for the way I felt in what will be posted in Part IV (to be put up sometime within the next 219 days).

And none of this lessened my sense of nausea when a casual remark was made about how some of the local hippies, acting on their midwives' wisdom, so ceremoniously prepare placenta. Really.  


  1. I ate aspic once (I think that's what it was, like pork jelly). Possibly the worst thing I had in my mouth EVER. I was torn between good manners and the need to not swallow it.

    1. Aspic... had to look it up. And realized that I'd definitely eaten it on one occasion when it was of the fish kind. The restaurant was French, some place on Bora Bora. My worst memory at the tail-end of the a blissful trip. Thought Frechy was just messing with us, savin' the best for last. Freakin' Frogs.

      "Ass-pick". Yeah. That's what I'll call it. Sounds right.

  2. To each his/her own. I've done whale and basashi, but not much else. A friend of mine ate still-squirming squid from a reputable restaurant and got such bad food poisoning she became lactose intolerant for life after a month or so of continuous gut pain...

    1. Consuming something while it is still alive and conceivably able to look you in the eye is somehow just not right. Mr. Squid was probably laughing. "Yeah, just wait lady, we'll be real close. Uh-huh."

      Actually, Part IV deals with the consummation of a life-form that I had mistakenly assumed was quite dead. And how surprised I was at my discomfort when I realized that it was nowhere near deceased. Gotta 'save it for later' - so to speak.

      (Continuous gut pain and sex life... no... won't go there)

  3. I see that picture of a suzumebachi, did you have those or were they like crickets/grasshoppers?

    I really want to try whale and horse, but a restaurant got busted over here for selling whale. 600 bucks for 2 pieces of sushi.

    1. Ate 'suzumebachi' over New Year, fried in butter. A few of the larvae had gone bad and needed to be tossed. The hornets' nest had spent a few weeks in the freezer, so things weren't as fresh as they could be. Judging by the taste, the little critters go bad pretty quick. I'd still like to try them fresh one day since they are considered a delicacy by the mountain folk. Most edible material, for that matter, is probably considered a delicacy by the hungry people... anyway.

      On an earlier occasion, I had a giant hornet sauteed in rapeseed oil and heavily salted which tasted a lot like crab. A good snack w/beer.

      If you are serious about trying whale and horse, best to wait till you get here. Much cheaper all the way around.

      For the record, I won't be trying either of those again.

  4. "if someone from a tribe offered me a dish of something traditional, yeah, I'd still eat it, out of respect."


    I would do the respectful thing as well no matter what was offered but wrapped in saran wrap? Fuck no...for a number of reasons.

    1. In school, I remember hearing how a group of granola-leaning students had gone up to one of the reservations where they were offered fresh salmon. Rumor has it that they refused because they were vegan or something. To me, it just didn't make any sense. I try to keep in mind that it was only a rumor I had heard.

      A little later and once upon a time in Tohoku, a slightly bloated whale had washed ashore in a spot that wasn't so easy to get to. I could see a number of well-weathered older folks who'd stopped their tiny, beater pickups along the winding road. One of the grandmas has a look in her eye that could easily be read as not wanting a perfectly good carcass to go to waste. My guess is that those people could have easily been ethnically Ainu while officially registered as Japanese.

      Either way, I don't think any of the meat was going to get anywhere near grocery store saran wrap.