Monday, February 19, 2007

Where's the beef (from)?

Did you ever wonder why any fish, shrimp, lobster, etc. that you eat is called seafood, but beef and pork are NOT called landfood? Nor are chicken, duck, goose, or turkey called skyfood?

Obviously, you're saying, we don't need a term like "landfood" because it's already obvious where cows and pigs come from, and anyone ordering pork or beef just tells you what kind of meat they want. And why should we say "skyfood" when fowl and white meat are already acceptable dining terms?

Okay, I'm with you on the skyfood-is-fowl thing, even though ostrich meat is served in steaks. But why should landfood not be put to use? Sure, we could just say "red meat," but the Council for the Promotion of Pork (or whoever) is doing all they can to convince us that pork is The Other White Meat (even though it's not). I like to know where my meat comes from.

You're crazy. Landfood is unnecessary. If you want steak, you go to a steakhouse, not a "landfood restaurant." Landfood could mean anything from venison to veal.

So by that logic, restaurants should specialize in types of seafood. This one serves only fish, that one serves only squid, the other serves only shellfish...

No! No! No! No restaurant could be THAT specialized and still stay in business. Just like steakhouses serve chicken, seafood restaurants serve all kinds of animals from the sea.

Yeah, about that. How exactly do fish caught in lakes and rivers qualify as "sea" food?

Because they're fish!

But not from the sea. They're not even from a salt-water bog. They come from fresh water.

But they're fish. Maybe it's a misnomer in some cases, but seafood is just a general term for fish and shrimp and other animals that come from the water.

So how do we classify alligator meat? It's born on land, but spends a significant amount of time in the water. It has four legs, but it swims.

That can be called red meat.

But that isn't a description of where it comes from. Besides, it's not red, really. Every time I order it, it looks white, and it tastes like fowl. Even if pork looks like white meat but isn't, it still doesn't TASTE like white meat.

Fine! It's white meat!

But do we order it at a seafood restaurant, or a landfood restaurant (excuse me, I mean "steakhouse").

We order it at... um... Cajun restaurants!

First of all, Cajuns aren't the only ones who serve alligator. I used to buy my gator meat served in a gyro (which is Greek). Second, Cajun is a distinction of PEOPLE and their CHOSEN METHOD OF FOOD PREPARATION. It is not a classification of animal type or it's natural habitat.

Fine. It's swampfood. Are you happy?

So does that mean crawfish are swampfood instead of seafood?


I'm just saying, why can gators be swampfood but cows can't be landfood?



N said...

You know? I'm much better off not knowing where most of my food comes from... I like to enjoy what I'm eating. ;)

N said...

And also, what about "fast" food? Since when are cows, chickens or potatoes ever "fast"?

Now if they could put a cheetah on a bun, that would be something!