Tuesday 15th May 2012
I’ve had the fortune, or the misfortune as a certain vegeterian may comment , to try some rather unorthodox foods in my life. Some of which have been appreciated more than others. An entire tête de veau took a bit of stamina to get through whereas the barbecued chitterlings, served with chips, were something I’d gladly eat again.
Once I’d ditched my pseudo-vegetarian beliefs back in ’94′ anything animal based was fair game & I worked my way through all of these with gusto. Crispy pig’s ears, barbecued shark, devil’s kidneys, stuffed lamb’s hearts, cold tongue, roasted snails, foie gras, pig’s trotters, baked goat, crocodile, pig’s cheeks, goose barnacles, deep fried lamb’s brain, bone marrow, tripe in milk, ox tail, emu, lark’s tongues, wren’s liver, jaguar’s spleen, chaffinch brains & jaguar’s earlobes… Ok, that was a joke! I’ve never tried ox tail. I nearly had you there though, didn’t I.
When feeding a child, as I do everyday, there is a temptation to trick them into eating certain foods. Whether it be by smothering it in ketchup, mashing it out of all recognition or just plain lying.
So far, we’ve not had to employ any of these tactics to get my son, Zephyrus, to eat but I remember very clearly when I was a child, & we still joke about it now, telling my 5 year old brother that we were eating Chinese food when in fact we were eating Indian food & visa versa. He was obviously trying to regain some control over what he ate & decided that he wasn’t keen on either Indian food or Chinese food. His only problem was, that he couldn’t remember which one he wasn’t supposed to like. We would just inform him each time that it was actually the other one that he didn’t like & with that he seemed satisfied to chow down on whatever was on his plate.
Thankfully, my wife & I have successfully navigated our way thought the minefield of food persnicketiness by, amongst other things, telling Zephy what it is he is eating.
“Is that the guts Dad?” Zephy asked as I was washing the liver.
“No, you can’t eat the guts of an animal. Although you can eat most other parts.” I told him. “It’s liver.”
I watched his face for any signs of a curling nose or a turned up lip but nothing came.
“Can I touch it?” He enquired.
“Yeah,” I said plonking a wet blubberous pieces of liver in the palm of his hand. “What d’ya think?” I asked.
“Yeah, very good.” He said handing it back & running off.
He obviously wasn’t fazed by what he saw because he managed to polish off everything on his plate at dinner.