Tuesday, February 15, 2022


Several years ago in response to a question, a Dutchman wrote that he had no idea what that ingredient was called in English, and several English speakers had also queried him about it. He was rather desperate to know the answer. I had corresponded with him regarding his wife's cooking, which he had praised on his webpage. His wife was Surinamese.

Turns out it was something with which I was already familiar.

I had eaten it that same week.



The answer was in a dictionary of Surinamese Dutch in the bookshelves behind me.
This afternoon, after voting in our ridiculous little recall election, I headed over to 一品味茶餐廳 ('yat pan mei chachanteng') for a bitter melon omelette over rice with lots of hot sauce. Bitter melon, called handal or hanzil in Arabic, karela in Hindi, sopropo in Sranantongo, peria or pare in Malay and Indonesian, ampalaya in Tagalog, and 苦瓜 ('fu gwaa') or 涼瓜 ('leung gwaa') in Cantonese, is a vegetable that has not caught on in most of North America. Odd. It is delicious! And pleasingly bitter. A bowl of Red Virginia and Perique is so much more afterwards.
Had a long quiet smoke on Waverly following lunch.

Children and most Anglos hate bitter melon.
Anglos expect veggies to be sweet.
It is not sweet.

When I returned home, I discussed martial arts trainin for the little girl hamster with the turkey vulture. So that she can poke him sharply in the hurty place when he tries to eat her.
It's a valuable survival skill for her to have.
He also avoids bitter melon.

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