I just relistened to Frank Zappa's 1971 album, Live at the Fillmore East, or, Freaks & Motherfu*#@%! for the first time in about 40 years, and marveled again at the visionary talents of this supreme musical weirdo. Of course, Zappa died too young at age 52, and we were deprived of many potential years of his music.
I thought this vegetable song might somewhat counterbalance all the bacon and meat talk on WU.
If you're ever at a dinner party where the host has a set of forks that look like these, you might want to consider leaving, quickly.
These are Fijian "cannibal forks" used for eating human flesh. The iron dance blog offers this description of them:
The cannibal fork, or iculanibokola, was used by attendants during ritual feasts to feed individuals considered too holy to touch food. These forks arose for several reasons. First is a cultural taboo that prohibits chiefs and priests from touching food with their hands. Common Fijians generally did not use utensils until Europeanization. One of the most important ceremonies a chieftain participated in was the devouring of their or the tribes enemy. Combining the significance of the event and the inability to use their hands the chiefs needed a way to participate-hence the development of the cannibal fork. Forks became a way to show power and influence. The fancier more elaborate the fork, the higher status the owner had.
Fijian cannibal forks are still made, to sell to tourists. What the tourists use them for... I guess that's their own business.
"Xian shui mian" is a spicy pork and vegetable soup that's a delicacy in the Chinese counties of Meixian, Wugong and Qianxian, traditionally served at weddings, funerals, festivals and birthday feasts. But it's the special ingredient in the soup that gives it the English name "Saliva Noodle". According to a 2010 story on cri.cn: "the noodle soup is reused many times and contains each diner's saliva."
I can't tell from the article exactly how the saliva noodle soup is made. That is, are people given a bowl of the soup, and whatever they don't finish is thrown back into the pot -- making it Backwash Soup? Or are people actually spitting and drooling in the soup?
Brandon Shimoda was into bacon before it had become the all-pervasive pop-culture meme that it is today. In fact, he might be the guy who started the meme. Back in 2002 and 2003 he hosted the "Bacon Show" -- an art show devoted to bacon. He ran it out of his Albany apartment, greeting visitors dressed in a pink pig costume. The crowning glory of the show was his "Bacon Triglyph" -- three pieces of bacon encased in polyester resin, preserving them for all eternity.
Katrina Dodson, who blogs at weirdvegetables.blogspot.com, reports that Brazil has a variety of broccoli named Ninja Broccoli -- or Brócolis Ninja. It seems to be similar to the broccoli found most frequently in American supermarkets. In fact, it may be the same as American broccoli. (I can't quite tell from what she writes.) She isn't sure how the Brazilian variant acquired the Ninja label, but offers this possibility:
ninja broccoli began to sprout as a genetic accident, a hybrid among fields of "normal," or sprouting broccoli (recall that the U.S. "normal" broccoli is this genetic aberration). At first, farmers considered it an undesirable variant but could not get rid of this broccoli that kept appearing and spreading mysteriously. A Japanese scientist, who preferred to remain anonymous, compared these cunning broccoli to ninjas, and the name stuck, immediately snatched up by marketing professionals as a stroke of genius: Ninja broccoli, your kid's favorite vegetable.