In my previous post, I ranted about new food that’s all over the place now, but that you never heard of when we were growing up. Like Chilean sea bass and haricot verts.
Here’s what prompted my rage against this cuisine: my daughter Casey recently volunteered to cook dinner for us.
That in itself didn’t bother me. And it certainly didn’t bother my wife Barbara, who otherwise cooks all the food we eat at home, except for Wednesday nights, when dinner is prepared by the fine chefs at the Pearl East Chinese restaurant (Motto: “We’ll get your order right most of the time.”).
What bothered me about Casey’s dinner that night was the menu. She was making quinoa burgers. This was bothersome for a number of reasons:
- I hate the fact that “burger” has become a suffix that can be appended to anything. Salmon burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers. Jeez–just because it’s on a bun doesn’t make it a burger!
- I have a mental block when it comes to the pronunciation of quinoa. Casey can say it over and over. She can say it slowly, syllable by syllable. She can write it out phonetically like bar mitzvah lessons. I just can’t pronounce the darned thing.
- As I said in my last post, I don’t like new food. A recent episode of the new Matthew Perry TV show Go On had a line that expresses my attitude perfectly: “I want to try new things, but I hate them.”
Well, quinoa isn’t really new; it’s just new in America. It was actually the sacred food of the Incas. It’s supposedly very good for you, although I would hasten to point out that you don’t see a lot of Incas around anymore.
I had tasted quinoa and I didn’t like it. I wasn’t gonna like it in burger form, either, even if it was buried under cheese and bacon. So Casey said she’d make a regular burger for me.
But I was on full alert. I knew she might try to pull a fast one and tell me it was a regular burger when it was really a quinoa burger so that, after I ate it, she could say “Ah ha! See? You do like quinoa!”
And then I’d have to make a quick recovery and say something like “I thought there was something wrong with it but I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
But as it turned out, Casey did not try to trick me. She couldn’t have, because the quinoa burgers didn’t look anything like real burgers. They were thin and pale-looking. And if the quinoa itself wasn’t enough, there was also zucchini in there, plus a healthy dollop of cottage cheese to bind the whole thing together.
I think somewhere in South America, an Inca was laughing while eating a Big Mac.
See you soon.