Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sorry, Santa, I ate Donner



Kids see reindeer at Christmastime and think: Santa Claus. Other people think: Lunch.
Glenview, Ill., fast food restaurant Fredhots and Fries serves Alaskan reindeer meat hotdogs this time of year. I had one for lunch today. When I ordered it, the cashier called out to the grill man, “One Donner."
Usually when people eat cute, cuddly animals, they’re starving for anything to eat or come from a culture with different ideas about what’s a pet. Think dog on the menu in Korea or cats on the dinner plate in China or guinea pigs on the barbecue in Peru and Ecuador. They're all animals that folks tend to anthropomorphize.
The general public is fascinated with people eating stuff they consider inappropriate or yucky. I lost count of how many reports I saw from the Beijing Olympics by reporters who stumbled on the same outdoor market. Oh, my goodness, deep fried starfish, silk worms and sea snakes on a stick, dog liver with vegetables, crunchy black scorpions, etc. “How can the Chinese eat that stuff?” was the veiled message.
Just today, this story crossed the AP wire: “Pet lovers protest cats on the menu in China.”
Anyway, I may have crossed the line today by eating Donner. I ate him Alaska-style with grilled onions, mustard and pickle spear. So what if Santa’s sleigh is one reindeer short this year. Donner was delicious.

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