Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?!

"It might have some kind of fish in it, but I'm not sure." Those were the first words out of the boss' grinning mouth as he handed me a shrink-wrapped styrofoam plate. I'm not exactly an adventurous eater. For instance, I don't eat things that swim. I've always said when I see a cow swimming, I'll swear off hamburgers for life. Just the thought of eating something with fish in it makes my stomach turn just a bit.

Upon further questioning, I found out that it's probably not in any way composed of fish. Instead the grocer was struggling with the proper English word to describe the ingredients. That's not surprising at all once you get a good look at this "food." Small squares with centimeter-thick layers of goo in various shades of green. One layer has the same slimy shine as lime-flavored Jello, and the next one looks more like pistachio ice cream that's been freeze-dried for astronauts.

I peel  back the plastic wrap and inhale deeply, but there's nothing there. It smells like a combination of plastic and styrofoam with only a slightly sweet undertone. I'm relieved that I don't smell salmon. I gently press my finger into one of the green squares, noticing that my fingerprint sticks around long after I've lifted it from the hardened goo. It's got the consistency of a hunk of pre-chewed bubble gum.

The plastic fork cuts through the square like it's hardened gelatin. The lighter layers of green move and jiggle, while the pistachio layers stand solid. It feels like a flattened gummy worm on my tongue, one that has been run over by a bicycle. It tastes exactly like it smells, like nothing. It's more texture than anything else, and the texture is even boring, somewhere between Jell-o and a gummy bear, and it only has a faintly sweet taste. We decide this might be meant to cleanse your palate, but more likely it's been fiendishly designed to bore your palate to death.

I never actually found out what this was, much less what it was called. If you'd like to buy some for yourself, bring a couple of bucks to Quoc Thach Deli & Grocery at 1364 N. State Rd. 7 in Margate. Call 954-977-2477.

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Brett Gillin