Sunday, May 10, 2009


This started as a comment on a friend's photos of their proud culinary achievements. The dish in question looked very pretty but involved copious quantities of asparagus, which made me go into a wibbly-wobbly cinematic flashback.


I used to eat some very strange things when I was a kid. The most peculiar of these were probably the foods I consumed as a result of my close friendship with my grandmother's slightly retarded pet spaniel, Archie. I decided, some time around the age of three, that I wanted to be a dog when I grew up*. The reasons for this have slipped my memory, but they probably had something to do with Archie's ability to evade effort, exercise, and baths. I developed a taste for dry dog food, especially the charcoal biscuits -- I had an unusually lustrous, glossy coat as a child. Once, in imitation of my slightly 'special' canine friend, I ate a big handful of freshly mown grass.

Needless to say, it tasted disgusting, and I think I came very close to spraying some St Patrick's day-style barf across my grandma's neatly maintained garden. The upside of this memorable, if unpleasant, experience was that I became one of the very few people in the world who can adequately describe the taste of asparagus.

In case you'd not figured out what comparison I'm going to draw yet -- it's grass. I had asparagus for the first time on a pizza a few years ago and, after picking most of it off, spent the rest of the evening feeling rather nostalgic for Archie; the overweight, excitable spaniel with an extraordinary phobia of other dogs.

I'm always a little baffled why asparagus is considered such a glamorous foodstuff, considering you can get something just as tasty (and just as digestible, from what I remember of the pizza) for free, and tidy up your garden at the same time.


*I can't scratch my ears with my feet or track people by smell, so I'm going to assume I've failed in that particular ambition.