Their food is better than our food.

10 08 2009

Tristero, in a long post at Hullabaloo which is well worth reading, explains my philosophy of food in a nutshell:

Americans have been trained since birth to eat cruddy-tasting food and think it tastes great. It’s not that burgers taste bad: they don’t, they can taste great. It’s rather that the burgers – and the fries, and the shakes, and so on – made available to the typical American taste awful, with fake flavors that pretend to taste good. But once you have, say, really great chocolate – and, hard as it is to believe, few of us have – you’ll never, ever go back to the fake or adulterated stuff currently marketed as “chocolate.” Other foods are harder to taste than chocolate, of course, but the principle’s the same.

For me it was pork. When we lived in Romania, every ounce of pork we bought was pure white, lean and juicy and totally unlike any other piece of pork I had ever had at home. At first I thought it was just a different cut than what I was used to, but then I realized it’s more like an entirely animal. Their pigs are fed better feed and kept leaner. As Romania is a pig and chicken country (to quote my old landlord), it’s all local and fresh too.

I tried the best pork at Whole Foods when I came back just to see if it captured the same taste, but even that couldn’t. Having better meat helps explain why I became a vegetarian about a year and a half when I came back to the states. Once you had the good stuff, it’s impossible to go back. Nevertheless, if I ever make it back to Romania again, I’ll seriously have to consider backsliding.

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