Monday, September 23, 2013
Not a Newspaper
A couple of years ago, I was out to dinner with some of my Scandinavian friends at this restaurant that was all about local ingredients and traditions with a twist, you know the kind. Borderline pretentious, but mostly in good fun.
One of the appetizers was toasted bread, wrapped on a stick. My companions explained that it's actually one of their camping customs. You bring dough, wrap it on a stick, and toast it over the campfire. Very charming, and tasty too.
As I munched away on the bread and reached the supporting stick, I exclaimed, "It's a REAL stick!"
Everyone laughed. "Of course it is a real stick. What else would it be? Our country is filled with forests."
"In the US," I explained, "This would be a piece of plastic, carefully shaped to look like a stick. And it would probably be stamped 'Made in China.' Because who knows where that stick has been . . Is it clean? Could someone get a splinter from it and sue?"
They thought this was kind of hilarious, but acknowledged that I was probably right.
Of course I was right. Saturday night, SwingDaddy and I went out with some friends and someone ordered a basket of fries, which came in a basket lined with newspaper - traditional fish'n'chips style.
Or was it newspaper?
No, it was not. It was wax paper, printed on the outside with decorative graphics to make a faux newspaper.
That's how we roll in this country!