Friday, August 8, 2008

Shakespeare and sandwiches

Went for dinner with the boys last night, then over to Shakespeare on the Square. I realize that the production of The Merchant of Venice (and goodness, had I forgotten how antisemitic it was!) was not meant to be a highly glamorous or professional one, but - I hate to say it - I was at least expecting costumes. Antonio and his hacks are all played by young Tennesseans who think to be Italian is to be Italian American (think Tony Soprano), but Shylock's performance was decent enough to remind us of which play we were viewing. The evening ended with a pleasant bowl of ice cream before leaving Market Square.
On the way home, the strange topic of "southern" cuisine managed to work its way into the conversation. If you can't coat it in sugar, ketchup (or, equivalently, bar-b-que sauce) or gravy, you can deep fry it. This, for no reason, bid us delve into the strange world of the montecristo sandwich. Now I can understand the frying of individual, quantized, whole objects - a shrimp or a chicken breast or something - but whose idea was it to try and construct a sandwich out of many constituent parts, and then coat the entire thing in batter and fry it as a whole? "We're sorry, sir, it seems like a fine idea, but we build the sandwich and then go to fry it, and as soon as we do, it breaks apart and is no longer a sandwich." Does anyone else see the idiocy of this idea? At some point in time, someone had to engineer a solution that problem. We could be spending our time solving world hunger, but no! - we have to figure out how to keep this sandwich from falling apart when we deep fry it. What a marvel of human ingenuity.
Sometimes I wonder.

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