The Girl in the Pin-Striped Trousers: Did You Really Just Eat That?

snail

By The Girl in the Pin-Striped Trousers

As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2013.

I’ve discovered today that no amount of willpower or determination will ever make me eat snails. I realise this is a random and fairly strange realisation but nonetheless, it is important. Bear with me and I shall explain.

The human race’s fascination with eating things that really should remain in the trees, burrows, and open plains of this world is in itself an excellent example of how bored we have all become. If we are willing to spend hours slaving over a dish of carefully prepared Javanese mountain caterpillar, the only edible part of which is the centimetre-long membrane that runs along its spine, then someone, somewhere must have been bored senseless. And it doesn’t even taste that good.

People are starting to use food as a source of adrenalin, a rush of danger that they long to have coursing through their veins. For instance, the Japanese Fugu fish which, when carefully prepared and served, can be a delightful meal – but if the fish is cut incorrectly by even half a centimetre, the delightful dish will become toxic and the innocent consumer will inevitably die.

This culinary Russian roulette leads one to think that even if we, as people, no longer have to chase and kill our food like our ancestors did, the human brain must be in some mysterious way hardwired to associate a sense of danger with the act and art of eating. Yes, over the years, easier access to food on a daily basis without having to slaughter, trap or stone anything to death has probably dulled that primal sense, but I think it remains; a steadfast mark of our ancient and primitive origins.

However, having said that, it is true that eating a possibly deadly meal in a sushi bar, the whole experience dripping with anticipation, nerves and excitement, is far better for the human brain than pulling on your tracksuit bottoms and plodding down to your nearest McDonalds, wolfing down a Big Mac and chips and not have any clue of exactly what you’re eating.

So, I’m still not going to eat snails because quite frankly, they’re disgusting, and no amount of adrenalin will ever convince me to put one near my mouth.

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