23 Mar 2009

Missing Breasts

I'm a breast man myself. Thighs are good too but hard to compete with a succulent breast. However, I've often experienced that breasts go missing!

We have chickens and turkeys and every so often this daily source of fresh eggs becomes the source of our main meal. They're pretty quick on their feet once they smell death and it takes some skill to catch, gut and fillet a whole chicken. Thais throw nothing away and consider offal to be a delicacy. Our dogs and cats can also sense death and loiter around expectantly, usually to be disappointed with just a few bones at the end of the meal.

Well, a whole chicken is usually enough for a coconut curry and a big pot of spicy aromatic soup. As the Thais gnaw the flesh off some bone or chew on a particularly tasty bit of liver I'm left wondering: what happened to the breasts?

I chanced upon the solution to this on one particular evening. I was feeling hungry and the children often eat before the adults – so I joined the kids. Thais take pride in being able to swallow blisteringly hot food and chuckle at the inferiority of foreigners who can't handle their chillies. However, this isn't due to some genetic mutation but is purely cultural. On the whole, children too don't like overly spicy food (and love the Italian food I make, but that's another story) and are slowly weaned onto it. So there I am, sitting around with the children, a big pot of steaming rice, some sweet chilli dipping sauce (it really is hard to get away from the chillies!) and a plate of soft white breasts. They give it to the kids!

How sweet, I thought. Except that, to the adults, breasts are just tasteless white flesh and they'd much rather tuck into the wilder flavours of internal organs. Perhaps I should eat with the kids more often!

No comments:

Post a Comment