Saturday, September 10, 2005

Culture shock for some US troops in Iraq

365 and a Wakeup gives us this little morsel :-)

For the most part Iraqi cuisine is relatively simple fare, heavy on regional staples like pita bread, rice, and lamb. So when our commander, CPT Mac, decided to ask his Iraqi counterpart for a authentic Iraqi meal he was totally unprepared for what appeared in front of him.

A minute later the cook wheeled out an enormous steaming pot – his sweaty face beaming with the singular pride of a father bringing a Thanksgiving turkey to the table. He wheeled the pot over to CPT Mac and carefully placed the main course in the middle of the bowl. The cooks obvious pride in his culinary masterpiece did little to assuage CPT Mac’s shock when he realized his meal was staring back at him. To his credit CPT Mac didn’t let the Iraqi’s see his sudden wave of nausea, but in that instant all the Americans suddenly regretted asking their hosts for an authentic Iraqi dinner.

The delicacy that looked back at CPT Mac was the apex of Iraqi cusine – fresh, boiled sheeps head. And when I say whole – I mean whole. Apparently the entire preparation involved little more then cutting the head off and dumping it in a vat of boiling water. The cook made his way around the table, gently placing a steaming head on every dish with practiced care. By this point the Iraqis could no longer contain themselves, and the entire scene started to look like a clip from an Indiana Jones movie.

Having grown up in a German farming community where people routinely ate pigs feet and cooked whole pigs heads I cracked up at this. If you have the stomach for it go read the whole thing.


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