Devil's tongue shiratake

Jim McKenney
Mon, 29 Aug 2005 09:25:43 PDT
I had to laugh at Alberto's comments: we evidently share the same esthetic
sense with regard to food. It's one of the striking differences between the
eastern food esthetic and the western food esthetic: westerners in general
regard slimy, slippery, gelatinous foods with suspicion if not downright
revulsion. Eastern cuisines evidently have a wide range of highly esteemed
foods which fall into the slippery, slimy, gelatinous category.

The konjac noodles, which certainly fall into the slippery, slimy,
gelatinous category, are apparently tasteless. They simply serve as a vector
for more pronounced flavors and as a tummy filler. 

As the saying goes, there is no accounting for people's taste. My Asian
Ingredients book points out that if you want to get a table of Chinese
diners to get up and leave quickly, just bring on a platter of cheese:
apparently most Chinese people not familiar with western dining habits find
it disgusting. 

Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest in this topic, I'll pass
along a link forwarded to me by Bill Grimes of the California Rare Fruit
Growers Association:

There is lots of information about konjac out there!

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I just finished reading
Betty MacDonald's 1945 The Egg and I which chronicles her years on a chicken
ranch; since there are those who are promoting konjac as a health food of
the future, maybe I should jump on this new wave and think about starting a
konjac ranch in the back yard. 

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