Brussels Sprouts, Sour Tongues and Poison Berries

Old Dog New Tits, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote a little piece about Brussels Sprouts. Her post inspired me to write this one.

When I see foods in the grocery store, I often wonder who decided that they were edible. I mean at some point, all those foods must have grown wild somewhere, never eaten for fear of being poisoned. I bet it took some brave soul to taste them, not die, and then tell his friends about them. I wonder if the guy who tasted Brussels Sprouts and didn’t die actually liked them? At the same time, I wonder how many people tasted foods that looked good and did die? Nobody will ever know that one.

As a kid, I used to eat ‘Sour Tongues’, which were small leaves that grew along the edge of the house. The tart leaf used to taste a lot like the sour candies that kids now enjoy. Mom used to warn us that eating the stuff would give us worms. I must have had worms then, because my friend Howard and I used to feast on those things. I didn’t die. I often wonder why you can’t buy them at the grocery store these days.

Squid, or Calamari, is a popular food here in Newfoundland. We never refer to the stuff as Calamari, we just call it Squid. Dad says that years ago fishermen used to throw them out of their nets because they figured that they were poison. The story goes that one night a fisherman got stranded at sea, and after finding his way to land, the only food he could find was squid, so he cleaned the thing and boiled it up. After he ate it, he was surprised at the great taste, and soon afterward, the thing was served in restaurants everywhere.  Not too sure whether the story is true, but it makes sense to me. Personally I cannot eat squid. I have a shellfish allergy, and even though the thing doesn’t have a shell, it is still a shellfish, but that is for another post, one about allergies that hide from you until you are on your way to emergency.

When I was a kid, I tried the little red berries that grew on a bush out behind my parent’s place. They constantly warned me about eating them, but you know how kids are. Telling ’em not to do something is like actually telling them to do it. Anyway, they didn’t taste that great, and after a quick trip to the emergency room and my stomach contents being pumped out, I decided against making them part of my daily diet. Hey, this may not have seemed like a good idea, but it was better than my pal Pat’s idea. He ate a four inch nail on a dare. The thing made it all the way to his bum, but stopped there, and he ended up going for a lengthy trip to the emergency room, and he still walks funny to this day.

My childhood friend Howard once tried to put an entire orange in his mouth, and the orange got stuck. When I looked over at him, all I could see was a crying kid with an orange shaped mouth. The teacher had a bright idea to try and pull the orange out, and almost burst Howard’s mouth apart. The principal had a much ‘better’ idea to cut a piece of the orange out, allowing Howard to crush the orange and spill the juice. This worked, but it was scary watching someone hack at an orange while it was in my friend’s mouth. Kids!

Anyway, I wonder what people will be eating in the future? Maybe the weeds we pull from our garden will become the food of the future, who knows? All it takes is someone to taste it and not die and all of a sudden you have a food craze. Now where are those sour tongues…and my tapeworm medicine?

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