“Do you eat it raw?” The question came from the portly gentleman who was sitting across from me at the table. It was directed at Olson, the attendee from Minnesota.
There were eight of us gathered in a hotel bar in Atlanta, GA.
Each of us represented a different company and had flown in from various parts of North America (read USA and Canada) to attend a day-long executive session with a strategic partner. We were in the process of winding down with a couple of pre-dinner drinks after a hectic day at the office.
I was the only Canadian at the table.
Somehow the conversation had moved from telecom, to cloud technology, to guns, and to hunting.
“Sometimes we eat it raw,” Olson replied.
He was not talking about sushi or sashimi.
He went on to explain that occasionally he and his friends would eat the raw meat of an animal they had shot, though for health reasons they would freeze it first. As he went on about the superiority of moose meat over beef, I tried to keep a straight face.
While I kind of sort of understand the concept of “eat what you kill,” I had always assumed that there was some heat and fire involved before the meat was consumed.
Clearly, I need to get out more.
To me, eating raw meat meant “medium rare” at the Keg Steakhouse.
Hard core hunters will point out that people like me are hypocrites.
On the one hand we have no qualms about wearing leather shoes, and eating meat – chicken, beef, pork etc. – bought from a store; on the other, we act holier than thou to the hunting and killing of animals. Someone has to kill those animals before the supermarket can stock their shelves, the argument goes.
As the conversation drifted further into unfamiliar areas like eating roadkill, I wondered how they would react if I told them that my favourite food was rice. It is strange that I would think of rice – a filler – as my favourite food. It is sort of like saying that my favourite food is “bread.”
But, it’s true. Old habits die hard.
Rice is what everyone ate when we were growing up. To be more precise, “rice with fish” or “rice with vegetables was the norm – all cooked the south Indian way.
Eating raw meat or fish were not a thing then.
Perhaps Olson and his friends grew up in hunting families and developed a taste for raw meats.
But, when someone recently asked me what Canadians typically eat at home, I was stumped.
Canadians eat a lot of sandwiches.
We just use different fillers between slices of bread and call it different names – breakfast sandwich, sub, hamburger, hot dog, panini, melt, club, Reuben, the list goes on.
I find that Canadian food is as diverse as its people.
Meat and potato, pasta and pizza, curries and chow mein are all “typical” depending on our cultural and ethnic background. As much as we like the simplicity of salads and sandwiches, most of the time, the food we gravitate to is influenced by what we grew up eating when we were younger.
Why else would my wife and I end up in an Indian restaurant during a trip to Rome?
Old habits do die hard!
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