Monday, August 08, 2005
foshizzle that a pizzle?
Back in the day, when the illustrious Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers still dominated televised sports as we knew it, I lived on the ouskirts of Philadelphia where there was only one Korean grocery store located in the sketchiest part of North Philly a good 45 minutes away from our house. Like on a hallowed pilgrimage, our family would make the weekly trek there to stock up on necessary items of survival: kimchi, tofu, bean sprouts and other sundry perishables that were still unknown to the produce aisles at Shoprite and Acme. And there, bored out of our skulls, my brother and I used to play a game, a game where we would roam the aisles pointing out misspelled food labels with our uppity and culturally assimilated prep school snobbery that would leave us breathlessly clutching our bellies with laughter and sometimes rolling on the floor in between shelves of dried seaweed and ground chilli powder. There was of course, no winner in this game. We were both winners in that we suspended for a brief moment the kind of restless dread that comes with doing any obligatory family chore. And for these small snatches of time we could forget about the smelly interior, our uncomfortable church clothes, or the fact that outside this strange world we were normally at each other's throats 90% of the time.
Well some things never change. Ever since I've been following the Hanscoms to church, ostensibly to tame my bankrupt soul but admittedly for the Chinese food afterwards, I've had the unexpected pleasure of wandering the aisles of a Chinese supermarket with them, reliving this childhood memory of mine. There is a rush of excitement walking through the doors, as you're flooded with the unfamiliar smells, the weird packaging, all of this opening up an entirely new universe, one that is just begging you to run around laughing at some of the crazy shit they put on the labels. But now, I display proudly our greatest find yet. Indeed it is a masterpiece of cultural mistranslation, or transliteration. I present to you a grocery item that illustrates what happens when two distinctly different gastronomic cultures collide. I present to you the awesome, the enigmatic, the utterly frightening. . . cow pizzle. Hundred bucks to the first person who identifies it on the bovine anatomy correctly. Of course the Hanscoms and I already know the answer so we will be ineligible for the prize. And please note, the alarming lack of expiration date on the pack of pizzle. Ewww.
(Photo courtesy of the honorable Mr. Hanscom and credit should really go to the missus for discovering the pizzle in the frozen food section.)
Posted by babibi at 4:11 AM