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Sunday, 9 September 2012

A loathing exorcised


Sonnet to a waterlogged vegetable
(together with its brothers: pumpkins,
marrow, courgettes, cucumbers, zucchini)

This bloated alderman with face aglow,
Smooth cheeked, smooth arsed, smooth tongued (if it could speak).
Empurpled egg, a sort of status quo
Hiding a sponge-like alimentary freak.

Its contours promise much, but then again,
Is it true food or fraudulent display?
Or worse? Puce pelt that passes through, and then,
Returns below in products of decay.

You can’t hate that, it has a gentle taste,
I’m told. But sodden anonymity
Is proof along the line that taste’s debased
And I was born for greater piquancy.

It is a blob and now its meaning’s overlaid
Who wants a fresh cut slice of meter maid?*

* See French dictionary

6 comments:

The Crow said...

My mother used to make an eggplant casserole that was to die for; a Creole recipe that rendered the eggplant anything but mushy!

Have you ever had eggplant parmesan? That's good, too. And piquant, if by that you mean it has a sharp flavor.

Love the 'puce pelt,' especially, Lorenzo.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Crow: I fear dying would have been the most likely outcome. This is not a casual whim, I can't even bear to look at the wretched things. Others have said I've merely got it slightly wrong, not cooked the right way, an unsympathetic audience, etc. But it's an antipathy I'm proud of; there's strength there to take me right through the centre of the earth.

Mrs LdP has a similar feeling about chocolate. No one on earth believes she isn't being a trifle precious about it; one acquaintance persisted for years bringing her more and more expensive chocs from Belgium (choc capital of the world) convinced she would eventually crack. She didn't. Some of the arguments took on a moral tone, implying we were put on earth by a beneficent Creator specifically to love chocolate.

Aubergines (no more attractive when they're called egg-plants) make good targets for air rifles (BB guns in the US).

Lucy said...

Yum, I love slippery food! Except perhaps elvers, which I've never actually tried. And glass noodles, which I have. How do you feel about mushrooms, they're quite slimy? Though I suppose it's sogginess rather than slipperiness of which you complain. The potimarron type pumpkin, the first of the crop, which we had roasted with duck, last night was dryish, not soggy at all, rather the texture and flavour of roast chestnuts.

That is really weird about Mrs LdP and the chocolate. I can't imagine why anyone would want to ply anyone who didn't like it with chocolate, though. All the more for those who do, rather.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Lucy: Were you ever a candidate for slippery elm food? I've always been careful to avoid catching the ailment for which it was the specific.

Re: elvers. Whitebait in NZ didn't in any way resemble the mini-fishes we are used to and we concluded these mysterious clumps of glop were elvers. Mrs LdP loved them (mixed with scrambled eggs), I not at all.

I dislike aubergines and courgettes because of their softness (which I relate to rottenness) and their paradoxical treachery (ie, neither appears to have any taste and yet it's an untaste I dislike). Marrows to me are softer (therefore rotten) versions of swedes which have an unholy kinship with timber suffering from wet rot. Cucumbers have a very strong taste, almost breath-taking, and the antipathy goes back to when my age was in single figures. As to pumpkins I have been subjected accidentally to aversion therapy; at Halloween burning candles interact with the damp interior of the hollowed-out lantern to produce a bitter smell. It isn't really the pumpkins' fault but the association is inescapable.

Plutarch said...

I have known for a long time about your dislike of these plants. Indeed I couldn't help thinking of it when I posted my lament about my current surplus of the vegetable a few moments ago.

Roderick Robinson said...

Plutarch: TW's a long way away. I wouldn't come for courgettes. How about broad beans, green beans, asparagus, samphire?