Saturday, October 13, 2007

People Eat the Strangest Things

Sometimes people eat the strangest things. But most don’t even realize how strange it is until someone from outside their social circle tells them so. So, perhaps the strangeness of what they eat depends solely on who’s observing it.

I’m not talking so much about the people in Japan who eat poisonous blowfish or those in China who might eat dog meat. I’m not even talking about the French who suck down snails. There are different cultures in the U.S. that have their fair share of strange delicacies, too.

Ok, so let me start with a confession. I did not realize until my post-college life that some of my favorite bedtime snacks were considered strange by some folks. I just figured they were standard fair.

When I was young my dad used to eat white bread in milk. He just called it his milk and bread. Take a couple of pieces of bread and pull it into bite-sized junks, put them in a tall glass and fill it with milk. I picked up the habit from my dad and I discovered that it makes a delicious snack.

In fact, you can substitute almost any bread, even crackers. And if your choice of bread is the biscuit, you can substitute sweetened coffee for the milk. I still enjoy that treat occasionally. My daughter always got a kick out of me when I ordered coffee at Cracker Barrel because breakfasts always come with biscuits there. And she knew how I would finish off my meal.

That’s right. I would drink about half the decaf from my cup, put a couple more creams in it, about 4 packs of sweetener, and a pat of butter. Then, I would crumble in a biscuit. It was yummy.

Cornbread in milk works great. Crackers and milk is another variation. And, if you don’t mind the extra work in preparation, you can cut a couple of pieces of toast into strips and dunk them into your milk.

Ok, go ahead and laugh. You won’t be the first. Or maybe you eat the stuff yourself.

It’s funny how people throughout history have decided what can be eaten and what can’t, or what shouldn’t. Take the potato for instance. Early on, people wouldn’t eat it because they thought it was poisonous. It makes sense, because the potato is a member of the nightshade family and the leaves are poisonous.

How many folks have died over the centuries trying to determine what is poisonous and what is delectable? I certainly wouldn’t want that job.

But even foods that have been determined to be perfectly edible and healthy are often shunned. There are few things I wouldn’t at least try. But I probably would not try insects. I hate bugs. I have eaten fried caterpillars though. They were awful.

The truth is, worms and bugs are probably much more healthful to eat than the bread I used to dunk in my milk. Overly processed carbohydrates, partially-hydrogenated oils, and preservative-filled meat products are slowly killing us. But they are so ubiquitous that it’s difficult not to eat them.

I just finished off a slice of chocolate mousse cake with a nice tall glass of milk. It was delicious. But I can’t say I feel healthier because of it. And all those snacks of milk and bread or coffee and biscuit have come back to haunt me as I’ve gotten older. I believe they are all still here, around my mid-section.

Oh well, I guess we all deserve a treat now and then. Some treats are just weirder than others.

1 comment:

selkie55 said...

How about Royal Lunch crackers (the originals in the purple box) in milk. Or evaporated milk poured on Jello? Yep, I've enjoyed my share of unusual snacks too. But milk and bread seems to be much more common here in the south than it was back home in Connecticut where I was born and raised. Thanks for a fun take on the snack thing.