Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cured Meats

I love cured meats. Jerky, salami, prosciutto, salted fish, dried fish... I recently went to two different cured meat stands to buy some reindeer.

Scene 1: Vendor with a little truck and table in the plaza by the harbor. Vendor looks like Santa's venture capitalist Santa Cruz rock-climbing brother.

Anne: (Approaches the table and leans in.)
Vendor: (Says something in Norwegian. Offers me a sliver of salami on the tip of a knife.)
Anne: I don't speak Norse but is that for me to eat?
Vendor: Of course.
Anne: Thanks.
Vendor: Vars├ągod.
Anne: (Chews the sliver of salami methodically trying to pretend she knows how to distinguish between fine meats. Nods sagely, approvingly, thoughtfully... then, blurts out like an idiot) What is that?
Vendor: Reindeer.
Anne: I like it.
Vendor: Yes. Because it is good.
Anne: (Considers) Okay...
Vendor: You are Asian. This has ginger in it. I though you might like it.
Anne: ...

Scene 2: Vendor with a table under the escalator at the mall. He looks like Santa's other brother. The one who five years ago, asked his two brothers for seed capital to start an "awesome new franchise" he read about on the internet. They were skeptical. He was rubbing his knuckles nervously when he asked for the money. Still, they figured "what the hell," and gave him a hundred thousand kroners anyway because he needed to learn to fend for himself. After the business (seal blubber aromatherapeutic candles) failed, he went back to the family, and took over the holiday gift basket business of curing wild game. Bartered for a space in the mall with his hashish dealer, who still owed him money for a pallet of seal blubber candles he bought and burned through high on Black Pearl (this remains one of his only sales).

Anne: (Approaches table, examines the holiday baskets, moves over to the salami pyramid.)
Vendor: (Pushes up sleeves of his old Jacquard sweater. Says something in Norwegian.)
Anne: I don't speak Norse, but do you have anything special here?
Vendor: Try this. It's moose.
Anne: (Chews sliver of moose salami methodically. Pretending to appreciate the difference in fine meats. Nods sagely, approvingly, thoughtfully...) It's good.
Vendor: Thank you. (Goes on to describe almost all the different sticks of salami on table.)
Anne: (Tries another sliver)
Vendor: Where you come from?
Anne: New York.
Vendor: Woof! (Note: he's not barking like a dog. This is just more an approximation of a "whoa" or "wow" sound.) New York is big. Tromso is small.
Anne: That's why I'm here.
Vendor: Tromso not too small for you?
Anne: No way.
Vendor: (To himself) New York... woof. (Gasps) New York...
Anne: (Thinks about what "Empire State of Mind, Part 2" would sound like if he sang Alicia Keyes' part) Can I buy half of one? It's just for myself to eat.
Vendor: Of course.
Anne: What's this? (Points to a dark meat)
Vendor: That is, how do you say... deer with (gestures antlers with his fingers).
Anne: Reindeer?
Vendor: No... buck! It is buck jerky.
Anne: (Giggles) I'll take it.


Daniel Littrell said...

Q: What's the difference between Beer Nuts and Deer Nuts?

A: Beer Nuts are about two fifty and Deer Nuts are under a buck...

ill iterate said...