22.4.08

On eating in other folks’ cultures:

I feel a bit of guilt, now that the matzo shortage appears so grim. Even though I bought my 2 boxes before I heard about the situation, well, a shiksa like me can eat leavened or unleavened bread whenever, so probably my matzo shoulda gone to some Jew who at this moment is experiencing major angst over the lack thereof. But it’s too late for that.

We can only hope that emergency matzo gets flown in here before matzo riots break out!

Meanwhile, here is some leavened goodness I enjoyed over the weekend at the Cal powwow.

How to eat an Indian taco: the problem is that you have many many unsecured food bits mounded up on an unstable base (aka thin paper plate balanced on your knees). You are eating in a confined space (very little elbow room) with barely adequate plastic utensils, & you don’t want to be the uncouth non-Indian dropping aforementioned food bits—or worse, flinging the entire thing—upon your Indian (or non-Indian) seatmates. Plus, the distraction of adorable teeny tiny 4-year-old jingle dress dancers.

The temptation is to slice it like a pizza & pick up the wedges with your hand. Do not try this. The motion caused by sawing away with that little plastic knife will cause an avalanche of food bits to tumble off the edges of the plate & onto your lap, the floor, & all surrounding Indians & non-Indians. Also, fry bread is very elastic; when you inevitably lose patience with the pathetic progress of the knife you will try tearing the bread, which could easily result in the flinging action I mentioned earlier.

So. Here is the method I have developed. Pry your eyes away from the cute mighty mites long enough to take your wee fork & eat some of the bits off the top. Eat the hill shape down into a flatter, more spread out & stable arrangement of the bits, preferably so that the puffy edges of the fry bread function to hold things in the relatively sunken middle.

(Note that even with all your best efforts, those stray food bits dangling precariously over the edge will fall to their doom. It’s not about perfection here; it’s about minimizing the damage.)

Now you can try the knife, but be patient & saw all the way through to the bottom. No tugging! For controlled tearing, start with the edge & tear inward toward the middle, rolling the edge in so that the bits get trapped between layers of fry bread. This gets easier as the bread soaks up some liquid from the tomatoes & beans.

I know, nobody likes soggy fry bread, but guess what? You don’t have to eat that part. By the time you’ve eaten all the yummy crispy edges & everything on top, you’ll be too full for that soggy middle anyway. Relax with your comfortably full stomach, watch the dancers, & soak up the drums. Ho!

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1 Comments:

At 10:43 PM , Anonymous Tom - Daai Tou Laam said...

This looks quite tasty.

Much tastier than the local food shortage making the news, vegemite.

 

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