Monday, 26 July 2010

Finger food

Short entry today and it's a bit of a story with illustrative examples rather than pics.

After Saturday's blog on artichokes, I've been wondering why I like them so much.
Apart from the obvious liver cleansing benefits that they provide, I've worked out that I like getting involved in food and the more messy and complicated, the better.

With a globe artichoke you get the opportunity to pull it apart leaf by leaf and suck it dry of all its proverbial meat. By the time you've scraped out the heart, you're left with a highly satisfactory pile of chewed up leaves and other related paraphernalia. You've accomplished something and made sure there's no waste whatsoever (a brownie point for any eco-warrior)

Similar experiences may be found with a whole crab. One of the most entertaining dinners I have ever had involved ordering a whole crab with a very good friend. When the aforementioned article appeared, a look of terror appeared over her face as she admitted she didn't know what to do. I didn't really know what to do either but having seen others in the same predicament, we decided that we should attack it with the nutcrackers provided (yes I know they're not really nutcrackers) and tear out every morsel of crabmeat possible. Despite creating a pool of debris approximately three foot in radius around us and possibly over us too, as the poor crab was finally declared well and truly scoured, my friend announced that it had been one of the most enjoyable food experiences ever. So I know I'm not on my own in being a food annihilist.

I also love filleting fish. The more the fish bones look like something a cat has sucked dry in a cartoon strip, the better. It gives me a massive sense of achievement. Parma ham prepping is also good for the soul.

A final comment on finger food. NEVER look down on people who eat with their fingers. Once upon a time, I was somewhere in France as part of an international meeting eating some kind of very large prawn, maybe a langoustine but I can't remember exactly, What I do remember is that the Brits got stuck in with their fingers, wrenching off heads and tails and shells with glee whilst a particularly snooty French mademoiselle delicately and (to be fair) expertly used her knife and fork to complete the same action.

At a certain point, mademoiselle looked up and declared that if she had used her fingers, her mother would have kicked her off the table for such bad manners. Needless to say, the Brits paused to look at each other momentarily, raised their eyes skywards, went up for second helpings and continued to enjoy finger food as it should be enjoyed!

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