Friday, September 28, 2012

A Rant in Two Parts... Or Two Rants, Related, For the Price of One

Why is it that every time I say, “I don’t like [insert foodstuff]” someone always says, “That’s because you haven’t had really good [foodstuff],” often going on to cite their mom’s particularly spectacular [foodstuff] as an example?

Look, Pushy Foodie, do you go around telling gay men that they just haven’t put it in the right woman or tell lesbians that they just haven’t found the right man, yet?

If you answered, “yes,” then you are a bigot and an asshole and get the hell off my blog! *Waves shotgun threateningly*

If you answered, “No, of course not, people sure as hell know their own sexuality!” Then I want to know why the hell can you accept that I know with whom I want to have sex, but NOT what foods I like to eat?

Let’s use my old favorite: fish.

The types of fish I will eat are few and select.  I’ll eat tuna.  I’ll eat salmon.  I’ll eat fish that has been breaded, fried in butter, drizzled with lemon and slathered with hollandaise.  I’ll even eat pickled herring (just the white kind, the purple kind is pretty gross and I have to schnapps up a few times before I can eat it). 

Anything else is an effort in controlling my gag reflex.

I cannot eat pickles (leads to projectile vomiting within a few hours of consumption) so on top of not liking curried herring, I can’t eat it and DO NOT GIVE ME REMOULADE OR TARTAR SAUCE UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR BATHROOM REDECORATED LATER!

You can give me steak tartar.  Totally different foodstuff.  Much to my surprise.

Anyway, every time I say, “I don’t like fish,” a chorus of voices begins suggesting that it’s because I haven’t had really fresh fish.


“It stinks,” I say.  They say, “Oh, but then it’s old!  Fresh fish smells like the sea!”

BUT THAT’S JUST IT!  IT STINKS OF THE SEA!  If I wanted to eat the sea, I’d eat the goddamned sea.  If steak smelled like a freshly mowed lawn, I wouldn’t want to eat it either.

By the way, I *love* the smell of raw meat.  Tangy iron, yum! 

Now, I like the sea.  I like to look at it.  I like the way it sounds, waves and such.  I even like the way it smells, provided that I’m nowhere near a harbor or anywhere where a large amount of seaweed washes up.  But I don’t want to eat it.  I don’t want to drink it.  I don’t want it in my mouth AT ALL.  So I certainly don’t want to eat anything that smells like it.

I have the same aversion to shellfish.  This one drives Danes crazy, because they put shrimp IN EVERYTHING.  I will eat it if it’s in something and I can’t get away with picking it out.  I just try not to look at it and I will often hold my breath when I put it in my mouth.   I have half a mind to fake a shellfish allergy.

But what really gets the Danes’ goat is when I dare to say I don’t particularly like the rye bread (rugbrød).  Hysterics follow.  “But you haven’t had really good rye bread, then.  My mom makes this really good type that I know will change your mind.”

If I introduce you to my hot gay friends, will you start batting for the other team?

I have had a lot of homemade rye bread.  It’s what Danes do when they want to appear domestic (or if in fact, they are domestic).  Of all of these, I’ve only had one I actually liked.  And when I watched him make it, I noticed a quite apparent lack of rye flour.  There was some, but only some.  Most of it was whole wheat.  That makes it whole-wheat bread, in my opinion.  And notably, it did NOT taste AT ALL of rye.

‘Cause that’s what it comes down to.  I don’t really like rye.  I don’t like a lot of beers that are dark, especially if they have that heavy rye taste.  I really hate that malt crap; that drink made from the brewing extract.  Liquid Marmite.  *Shudder* 

But my god, you just can’t tell a Dane you don’t like rye.  They get so touchy about it.  Recently, in a over-read (okay, you can overhear something, so what do you call it when you read a conversation between people on a networking site that might rhyme with Mace-hook?) conversation, a Dane, who may have had an convulsive fit when a bunch of foreigners united in their dislike of his nation’s bread, said that the reason he was so touchy about it was that food is culture, and by dissing the food, we were dissing his culture.

Dude, the next time someone says something negative about McDonalds IMMA A GONNA CUT A BITCH!!  THAT’S MY CULTURE YOU’RE MALIGNING!!

Wait a minute, no it isn’t.

And this brings us to the second part of the rant.

Really, your food is so intrinsically tied to your culture that if I happen to say that I don’t like it because it tastes like ass, it’s the same as saying that Denmark is full of nothing but freeloaders; metrosexual mamma’s boys who couldn’t find their manhood with both hands and dead-eyed women who will give you a blowjob at a bus stop just so they can see what time it is?

(BTW, I asked the Danish Boy what the most awful thing I could say about Danish culture would be and he replied, “What culture?  Danes have no culture.  Our culture is those stupid clapping hats at sports matches.”)

My god, the number of disparaging things I’ve had said to me about my country!  Forget the remarks about the food, I’ve been told Americans themselves are fat, lazy, mean, rude, stupid, and loud.  Yes, to my face.  Often over one of those extended meals Danes like to have.  Good lord, no wonder Danes invented aquavit.  And you know what, I don’t get offended (okay, maybe about the fat comment - WHO YOU CALLING FAT, CHUBS??) because it’s an opinion.  It’s not my fault if it’s wrong. 

And so what if people don’t like barbeque or pumpkin pie or McDonalds, no one in the US is going to force you to eat it.  Sure, in the South they may get tetchy about it, but then they still hold a grudge over the War of Northern Aggression (you may know it as the American Civil War).   They get tetchy about a lot of things.

And I can think of plenty of Americans who would like Danish food, including the rye bread, if they weren’t already patriotically bound to eat white bread and nothing but white bread, so help me god.  But while they may love smearing leverpostej (called liverwurst in the US) all over their shiny faces, they’d be appalled by Danish society.  “Socialist SCUM!”

Yes, a good section of the Scandinavian-American population, who keep up with the food and other Scandinavian traditions, are Republicans who think that the Danes are only Communists who depend on western handouts to keep the economies afloat.

So what will it be, Foodie Danes?  Would you rather have someone who likes the culture (and I use the term loosely) and the governing system but not the rye bread or the person who, given the chance, would strip you of your free health care while enjoying your lunch pack?


  1. Yea, I chose to ignore him when he made that silly argument about culture. I think it's a desperate attempt on their part to guilt trip anyone who is "dissing" something of theirs when the Danes pull that "but you're pissing on my culture". That's why I keep telling them, "Stop acting like I'm talking about how ugly your grandma is every time I try to share my opinion about something I'm not a fan of in DK. Lameness.

  2. I'm cool as long as someone is willing to taste something before declaring they don't like it. ;)

    Btw. My American friend did like the øllebrød, but then she likes ryebread. ;)

    Oh...and the tables were turned, I tried some of her home-made mint tea, fresh from my garden ...and I hate mint tea. Turns out that I still hate mint tea, even when it is fresh from the garden. Ah well, at least everyone had a good laugh at my expression. :p

    That said, I've always believed that I did not like parmesan cheese, I tried it several times in Denmark and everytime I thought it tasted and smelled like vomit. It took me years before tasting it in Switzerland and that's only because my husband did the whole "I cannot believe you don't like it" thing...and surprise, surprise. I LOVED it. Returned to Denmark, ate parmesan here again and hated it. Haven't been able to find non-crap parmesan here so far.


Keep it clean, don't be mean....