433 words on Food
I am always tempted to say that I hate vegetarians. But then I remember that I know too many of them to live up to that. Still, I consider vegetarians to be a problem. The best of them are a problem when cooking meals as having them along will either mean you can’t have any meat in the food or you have to cook a separate dish that spoils the communal eating experience in a way. The very best of them may even eat fish and eat least give you some nice options that way – while the more extremist vegetarians will scream at them for not doing things properly.
… whatever ‘properly’ means. Of course I agree that everyone can have their own food preferences. The Moldy Peaches may sing
I like potatoes,
I don’t like tomatoes
The Moldy Peaches – Lazy Confessions
while I can take the opposite view and try to avoid eating potatoes. And we’ll do our best to accomodate our friends in what they like and don’t like as well as we’ll eat things we don’t really like if that’s what it takes to make our hosts happy. These are just matters of common sense and politeness. But it’s not really what I’m after.
Whenever I cook with vegetarians, I get the impression that many of them fail to make the most of their food preferences. There are loads of nice vegetables and there are many things you can do with them. So you should think that vegetarians are particularly skilled at making those dishes as they can focus all of their time on making those – rather than having to dream of steaks all the time, say. But more often than not, they aren’t. Go and eat at a vegetarian’s place and you’re likely to get some sort of mixed veg which are probably baked with some cheese on top – gorgonzola if they want the dish to be ‘exciting’. It’s not terribly bad but it’s dull and it’s usually far from the best you could make of the vegetables that are involved. Particularly as the nice flavours of each of them can’t shine separately but everything is just mixed together.
Perhaps it’s because vegetarians don’t like eating at all and don’t care. Or it is because they fear they’ll leave the table hungry if they don’t get all the possible vegetables on their plate. I don’t know and I don’t understand. But often I’ll be irritated by the suggestions made by vegetarians. Like having couscous with aubergines, zucchini, carrots and mushrooms. It just sounds wrong to me.
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