Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Memoirs of a Former Vegetarian

The only restaurant open after 10pm in the MGM Grand is Wolfgang Puck´s. We walked up to the hostess, reserved a table for nine, and waited. In the meantime, I graciously asked the hostess about a few menu items. I wanted to try something new, something that would have the effect of glitter in my mouth. For some reason, I thought ordering calf liver would put a pep in my step. I asked the hostess, who had just finished filing her nails or something, what pancetta was. She looked at the menu, smiled down on me from behind her station, and declared it ¨a type of cheese¨.

I took her word, even though, even without ever eating calf liver in my life, I KNEW that would not make a pleasant combination.

Out comes my meal and guess what: no cheese!! Well, it´s Monday. Maybe Puck hadn´t received the weeks´ supplies yet. But it´s okay, I say to myself, I´m flexible.

I stabbed my fork into what looked like a roasted cube of potato, but my tastebuds failed to recognise the subtle flavors and texture. Touché secret ingredient.

A few family members from south Philly solved the mystery. What I had though was a potato was really uncured pork, better known as pancetta. Forgive me, food junkies of the world; the lighting was low and it was tough to tell what I was eating.

In the end, I ended up giving away half of the calf liver to my dad and all the pancetta to him as well. He´s not picky so it´s always easy to swap food with him, even at the dinner table as a kid.

Can you believe I couldn´t identify a piece of pork after living in the pork capital of Spain AND Lugano, Switzerland?? What on earth have I been eating the past two years? I consider myself a culteraltarian so I´ll try almost everything at least once, especially when I´m outside my own country. Meat-eating is not my specialty, but cultural perspectives on eating is. Well, I guess that´s why I´m now a former vegetarian.

Moral of the story? Don´t trust the hostess.

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