Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mike Eats Weird Salads

You'll be surprised to learn that I'm not the most adventurous person. One of my fine colleagues sarcastically wonders when I'm finally going to get over to the Red Light District, bang a hooker and score some weed. It ain't gonna happen. Some people find those things exciting, but I find them kind of sad. Oh, and I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to that stuff.

Anyway, it could hardly compare to what you'd find at a simple grocery store. Inspecting the grocery store is one of my favorite foreign-travel activities. I can hang out in the frozen food aisle for a long as you'd take a gander at, say, a naked Asian transsexual who satisfies your raging foot fetish.

So to satisfy my miniscule sense of adventure, I'm trying to sample a few weird, culturally-significant items from the supermarket. Oh, the foods we'll taste! Exhibit 1 is pictured above, two delicious mounds of something covered in something shiny, sprinkled with corn and served with a cute little red shovel. It's as if someone dumped a can of corn on your mother's breasts and told you to dig in. Any little boy's dream.

I should mention that the Dutch are crazy for their lunchtime salads. Not leafy lettuce-based salads, mind you, but pretty much anything that can be mixed with mayonnaise (the national condiment) and formed into flaccid, mysterious mounds. Any decent catered lunch will offer you 57 forms of salads, the nature of which are completely indeterminable until you eat them. For me, Dutch lunch is a culinary minefield, but I imagine Forrest Gump would find it deeply meaningful.

This salad wasn't as scary as it looked. At first I thought it was simply potato salad, but it also turned out to have bits of beef in it that I didn't taste at all, a vegetarian's nightmare. Well, for an English-speaking vegetarian, anyway, as the single word on the top was "Beef." My beef salad was actually pretty tasty, once you wiped off the clam-molded mayo clinging ferociously to the surface, like Star Jones clenching her dignity.

I'm off to return to the Dutch countryside, hoping to find something interesting to say from there.


At 6:48 PM, Blogger Iris said...

May I just say that I was 100% certain that it was, like you, some sort of moulded potato substance.

And even that? Scared me. But beef?

Yeah... I'd back away from the table myself.


At 1:00 PM, Blogger Cindy Zmuda said...

Oh, it just looks gross. But that cute little red shovel on the other hand...now that's a keeper.

At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

This reminded me of an event that happened backstage at a concert. I think we were in Portland, OR, and we were waiting to go on in a nice green room with a fairly sumptuous repast laid out for us. The photographer, who was Dutch, joined us in the room for a few minutes. He asked if he could help himself and we said by all means, there's plenty here. He promptly helped himself to a cookie, a nice big chocolate chip cookie, and, talking to us all the while, proceeded to scoop tunafish salad all over it. I was sure he'd made a mistake and would spit it out as soon as he took a bite, but no, he went down on that thing. We couldn't believe it. Maybe he was just embarrassed and wanted to avoid making a scene, but no: he made ANOTHER open face chocolate chip cookie tunafish sandwich. To his Dutch photographer palate (admittedly, I don't know exactly which is to blame, the nationality or the profession), this was good food. In that context, the beef salad makes a little more sense, don't you think?

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Kris said...

Well...the beef-in-potatoes-under-mayo does take mixed cuisine to a new level - as does the chocolate-chip-cookie-with-tunafish of Matt's comment... But I have to say that at least the parts themselves are recognizable. I'm going back to VN in a week, and there were entire plates filled with unrecognizable meats, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Or things that looked familiar, but in freakish proportions (prawns with lobster-sized claws; grape-like fruits as big as your hand; etc.). I don't think myself a fussy eater, but I will be packing crackers and peanut butter - and maybe some cans of tuna, now that you mention it, Matt.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous ChloeandSam'smom said...

That salad sure looks gross. I can't imagine eating different foods other than the usual crap they serve in Mc Donalds..lol
By the way i totally agree with your commment on American Bar goers. My sister in law is a bar go er and the most miserable person you could ever meet. She stays out late there and several times we came to pick her up because she was too drunk to drive and she was found:"Ccrying in her beer"

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.


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