lunedì, settembre 27, 2010

Open sesame season

I'm lucky in my life partner in a lot of ways, but definitely one of the ones I feel smuggest about is that we can have a panicked conversation about how we're going to have to get a lady-goat or something for its milk so we can keep having some sort of raw cheese in Australia, where it's fucking illegal, and that any time we get a serious jones on for really stinky, artisanal raw cheese there we'll just a really fucking slap-up Asian dinner and count our fucking blessings. I took the F-word out his last night here for an attempt at a slap-up sushi dinner and it was fucking R-U-P-T rough. I'd never known before that tuna had gristle. That's fucking Latin Europe, man. Not enough Orientals.

Anyways, that segues me into two topics:

1. Last night I bought four kinds of cheese, in a wild bid to stuff so much into my tummy before leaving for Australia that I don't miss it as much as I know I will anyways. Most of them were hard so theoretically we'll be able to keep getting them in Australia, but I know from practice in Canada it just doesn't work that way - it'll be shitty knock-offs, the dregs of production, because the manufacturers will understand it's being exported to a country that's used to its food dead. Anyways: parmigiano reggiano, pecorino primo salata (a squeaky, soft sheep cheese, almost but not quite bland, comforting, and studded with peppercorns), Castelmagno (which I'd never had before and was a real success - imagine a parmigiano reggiano but with its soul still imprisoned in it, and only emerging with a holler of triumph as you take a bite), and then feta - but the feta was stuffed into pickled spicy green peppers. Holy shit. There aren't very many edible things that are better than pickled spicy green peppers stuffed with feta. It's a very pleasing combination. I think we can make that, after moving, though.

2. Today's oil (tying back into the slap-up Asian dinners we'll have when we miss the cheese too much): sesame. Sesame oil, and sesame seeds too, are important to me as a nut allergy sufferer. Sesame seeds, toasted, or sesame oil as a dressing, or tahini, or halva, that fucking priceless, delectable and horribly addictive ambrosia, can almost fool my tastebuds into thinking they're finally getting some peanuts or something, so there's an element of naughtiness to eating them - it just feels so deliciously wrong, like getting head from someone who's still doing their undergrad but who has figured out how to do it. So there's the naughtiness as well as an element of deliciousness. For delicious all these things are are.

Not only that. Sesame oil is a super-useful hair thing. It's been years since I demanded my hair suffer chemical abuse but back when I was rehabilitating it, sesame oil was the trick. Your scalp loves it. If you bias toward dryness, like I do, it's a rare and lovely pleasure to get a deep, langorous scalp massage with sesame oil; and then one quick wash later, or extended comb with a rough wooden comb to pick up excess goo, your hair looks ace for a week.

It's also reputed to be a cure for baldness. That, I couldn't say. My deductive instincts tell me that if it was I'd be priced out of the market by panicking men, and there wouldn't be any bald people. But it's hard to say. The thing is, once you've had a sesame oil scalp massage, you smell quite distinctly of sesame. To me it's rather nice to smell like a Japanese seaweed salad but I'm aware I may not be the voice of the majority on this one, more fool the majority.

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