Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Chicken and Beef

While preparing a tuna sandwich today, I started thinking about chicken fried chicken.

Why does it have such a strange name? The answer of course is that originally there was fried chicken which someone upgraded by using steak, and thus the new moniker
chicken fried steak was invented. Chicken came back into fashion thanks to its relative healthiness, and the name underwent another transformation to chicken fried chicken.

Who cares?

I started wondering why there never existed
chicken fried pork or chicken fried turkey or chicken fried cornish game hen. Western cultures have grown to adore only two meats, beef and chicken, above all else, which begs the question - why? History could just as well have seen the hind flanks of the gazelle processed oh-so-carefully into a Big Mac and forget Chicken McNuggets, we could have been dipping Pigeon McNuggets into that tasty honey mustard sauce.

The most likely reason we love the cow and the chicken is they are slow and witless animals. Nothing is easier to run down and spear than a 1500 lb heifer. Killing a gazelle requires, well, cheetah-like speed and agility. We're just not up to it. Even turkeys are pretty hard to catch, they can fly and roost in trees, unlike the sedentary, earth-loving chicken.

Maybe if we'd never developed into bipeds and could hunt on all fours? Things could have been different, but we're probably better off - imagine having to pay twice as much for shoes.

1 comment:

Brian said...

You might want to check into the dietary history of Japan. Okay, yes, I am an enthusiast for all things Japanese but there is some rellavance here. Why? The staple meat product of Japan. What is it? It's squid. They eat more squid here than anything else. It is processed into interesting shapes colors and tectures as well as eaten raw or cooked in its natural form. Who knows why? Is is really relevant? Maybe. But an interesting tidbit nevertheless.