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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

To Pork or Not To Pork...

One night at Smokin' Joes. Nope, not quite a movie, and hopefully it will never be. Why not? Well, personally, I don't quite like the food there. I mean, it's fresh and all that, but for some reason it doesn't taste like any other kind of pizza I've had before...and that's not a good thing, I'm sure. Of course, the decision of "I don't like" has only come about after the mandatory three visits...or strikes. You can never tell when a restaraunt is having an off day or when one of the waiters/servers is not feeling all that sane, and I don't think it's right to judge a place after a single visit...unless you were cursed at by the staff, waiters consistently spilled stuff on you, and they told you to shut up and eat your food. Customer service nightmare!

But my third visit was for the purpose of 'taking away' some grub, so I thought why not. I mean, I'd eaten there twice before, maybe the take away would be better. For those of you who don't understand this logic, it's like the whole 'export quality' vehicle being superior to something that is produced for the local market. So sitting at the table and glancing at the flyer, which serves as a menu, I started looking up and down, front and back, to try and figure out what my comrades and I would be interested in. Let's take a look shall we?

So, this is the 'flyer' part of the menu. Catchy. Nice picture of one slice being lifted with all the succulent toppings. Mouthwatering, no doubt. So there I was with one of the comrades, Pradeep, just shooting the breeze and passing the time. He's another one of the people who seems to like the food there. And then, all of a sudden, my eye caught something at the bottom of the 'backside' of the menu. There were two words in white text against a black background that read, "No Pork." Cool. Fair enough I thought. In this country you can't get away with serving people beef or pork because of the religious affiliations that we have. I would have gone with beef too, but then that would only leave poultry and seafood...and I'm not about to eat a Chicken Tuna Pizza. And after that dreadful thought, I came across something even MORE noteworthy.

The third item in the third section (NV3) of the "Non Veg Pizzas" side of the menu says, "Napolitana: Roasted Chicken + Bacon + Mushroom + Garlic." And I couldn't believe it. In fact, I was so perplexed I had to ask Pradeep if bacon was pork or not...You know, one of those things that wrong-foots you no matter how sure you've been about it in the past. And he did the same thing that I did; look surprised, put the palm of his hand on his forehead with a slight smacking noise, and say "Arrey?!?!?" Rather interesting. And then I tried to figure out if there was in fact a 'chicken' version of bacon. Nope. Merriam-Webster says that bacon is, "A side of a pig cured and smoked ." Another source, went a little further and had this to say:

"Bacon: Pork belly, which comes from the side of the hog, is called bacon once it has been cured and smoked. A solution of brine and water is injected into the pork belly; a smoked flavor may also be injected, or the bacon may be smoked after it is cured. Bacon is very high in fat, saturated fat, and sodium."

So, what were they thinking? Or, were they even thinking? Hard to say. I guess I'll leave this one to the philosophers. Oink oink, indeed.

By the way another meaning for the word 'pork' from Merriam-Webster is, "Government money, jobs, or favors used by politicians as patronage." I didn't know this...I was familiar with another meaning, which will now have to be called 'Number 3'. ;-)

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