Monday, January 17, 2011
Vinegar: A Poem
Over at The High Calling, there’s been a discussion on The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting toward God, a collection of essays on eating, fasting and a lot of other things. The three essays being discussed today include one on Hollandaise sauce, how a vegan began to backslide and how Swedish pancakes had a connection to the collapse of the Interstate 35 Bridge in Minneapolis (I’m still puzzling over that essay, and I’ve read it twice).
I’m reading along but not joining in the weekly blogging. I am dropping the occasional comment.
However, I read the three essays, and the one on Hollandaise sauce stuck in my head, likely because it brought back memories of eating Eggs Benedict at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
To show you how word association works in my head, I heard the word “vinegar” during the pastor’s sermon in church on Sunday, knew that it was used in mayonnaise, and leaped from mayonnaise to Hollandaise and The Spirit of Food. (And what mayonaise and Hollandaise have in common is possibly the color and the "-aise" at the end of each.)
So then I started thinking about what I knew about vinegar. I knew it was acetic acid; I knew bad wine can taste like vinegar; I knew it was used in condiments like mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup and salad dressings (like those various shades of vinaigrettes).
So, I went to Wikipedia, and I learned just how much I did not know about vinegar. So, in keeping with the spirit of the discussion of The Spirit of Food, I submit the following:
Vinegar Is: A Poem
Used in ancient Egypt,
Babylon and and Rome (of course),
vinegar is a chemical
(acetic acid) (but is it organic?)
(it all depends)
a salad dressing
an odor absorber
a means of pickling
a sunburn aid
a cleaning material
an antidote for catnip
a tool for diet control
(Dr. Atkins’ High Vinegar Diet?)
a tool for glucose control
an ill humor
a personality type
an enemy of infections
and stings and even
(the vinegar on your salad
is also a herbicide, my dear)
Vinegar is diverse, a potpourri
of types, kinds, varieties:
malt, wine, apple cider, balsamic
rice, coconut, palm, cane, raisin,
date, beer, honey, East Asian black
(sounds like a tea), flavored,
Job’s Tears, kombucha, kiwifruit,
Sinamalc, distilled, spirit and
fruit: apple, black currant, raspberry,
quince, tomato, persimmon, jujube,
wolfberry (wolfberry?), rose apple.
And the most famous vinegar of all is:
the galling insult on a sticked sponge.