Monday, October 31, 2011

A Justly Earned Reputation for Grossness

I'm a bit fascinated by the idea of "indigestibility", which back in the day typically referred to fat content or greasiness.

For example, Aunt Jenny's cookbook contains numerous claims about how much more digestible Spry is than other shortenings on the market. Take the following passages:
"Fried foods crispier, tastier, and so digestible: But say, when it comes to fryin, I could tell as much as any of 'em! Since I been fryin' with Spry, you should see all the doughnuts, French fries, and fried chicken my husband, Calvin, stows away! And never a twinge of indigestion!"

"Mebbe I mentioned it before, but I want to say over again, so that everybody gets it, how easy to digest foods cooked with Spry are. Grandpa Briggs at the Old Soldiers' Home eats pies and doughnuts and fried foods aplenty. Mrs. Thompson, the matron, uses Spry for everythin'."

"And you'll notice such a difference with fried foods! Why folks are eatin' all they want since Spry came to town. Sleepin' like tops and feelin' real chipper, too. Fact is, foods fried proper in Spry are as digestible as if baked or boiled. Why even a child can eat 'em."
Apparently devoted hubby Calvin, old man Briggs, and even little Tommy are putting away fried stuff like there's no tomorrow. With nary a twinge.

Obviously, the concern about fried foods had more to do with what it does to the tum tum than what it puts around it.

But back to the Bacon and Cabbage.

In this recipe, I'm confused. Looks like you still cook the cabbage in the grease-saturated pot liquor, so it's not like the leaves walk away unbeglistened. In this recipe, you drain off as much of the stuff as you can, so maybe it was the pool of liquor floating with fat globules that turned the author off. If you drain it, merely a gleaming whiff of pork fat would remain on the leaves, which could perhaps be disregarded as you dig in to the bacon.


(And herein lies the mystery.)

Is it the cabbage itself that produces results described as indigestibility, the symptoms of which could be reduced by changing out the cooking water?

My solution, and undoubtedly Aunt Jenny's: do yourself a favor and just fry the cabbage in Spry. You'll justly earn a reputation for refinement.

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