I just made some fried chicken. While trying not to burn down the house, I thought about my penchant for various “lowbrow” foods — the sort of things that my wife, sister, mother, or mother-in-law would scold me for eating. Knowing I enjoy these foods as much as I do might well cause my friends to stop eating the (ostensibly higher-brow) foods I prepare for them, shirking away from my kitchen in horror and calling in “anonymous tips” to the proper culinary authorities. To clear my guilty conscience, I will enumerate some such foods now:
- Chocolate milk. While I like “real” chocolate milk best, my appetite for chocolate-flavored soy milk — as a high-protein, low-calorie alternative — is even more embarrassing, I think.
- Canned whipped cream. What does this food not have? It is cream (a fine starting point by any measure), it is sweetened just barely to the good side of “nauseating,” and it is pleasantly nitrogenated. My sister, who gives me the same glare over my Reddi-Whip that she generally reserves for my political opinions, has alleged that my mother would disown me if she knew how I loved this product.
- Chinese buffet food. I could perhaps subsist on the combination of General Tso’s Chicken and egg rolls alone, if I were, by felicitous coincidence, stranded on a sneeze-guard-lined desert island.
- Fried chicken. I love it all: the traditional fried chicken, Buffalo wings, fried chicken sandwiches, “nuggets,” “tenders,” “strips,” &c. In my whole life, I think I’ve only had one fried chicken product of any kind that did not wholly satisfy: it was a fried chicken breast sandwich from a dearly-departed local hot dog stand. Unfortunately, they must have fried it in the oil that they used to make the “fried fish part” sandwiches, and words really cannot express how much fish flavor can be absorbed and later released by several gallons of restaurant-use peanut oil. Don’t get me wrong: I love fried fish parts as well. However, when a food item has been prepared in such a way so as to place it in an indeterminate subphylum of Vertebrata, I lose my capacity to enjoy it.
I maintain that it could be much worse, but you’ll have to take my word for it, as I don’t want to “out” any of my friends whose gastronomic indiscretions — in my opinion — dwarf even my own.
I’m currently listening to Symphony no.49 in F minor, “La Passione”: Minuet & Trio from the album “Haydn: Symphonies nos. 26, 35 and 49” by Northern Chamber Orchestra / Nicholas Ward