October 5, 2005

Food Association

There are certain foods I just tend to associate with different tasks. It’s an odd thing, but people I’ve talked to about it tend to agree with me. I’m not talking about the pumpkin seeds for Halloween or Peeps for Easter… I’m talking about… well. Let me just go into it and you will get a better idea.

Road Trip Food
There is some food that I associate with a road trip. I can’t bring myself to buy this stuff when I’m not gassing up at a Conoco or Diamond Shamrock.
The first one is sold at an extremely high price and after eating it; you may have to make a dentist appointment. I’m talking, of course, about the beef jerky. This rip-apart-and-take-a-tooth-with-it treat is something that I only get a hankering for when I’m driving down I-10 or IH-35 on my way to Houston or Laredo.
The next item is a name brand…. anything by “Tom’s.” This is the generic version of Fritos, Cheetos and/or Peanuts that you’ll only find in a gas station...it tastes old, but you’ll never know if it is or not, because that’s the way it always tastes... a combination of salt, cheese powder and Styrofoam. Why do I buy it? It’s like 99¢ to the Frito’s $1.29. I may be killing myself, but by God I’m saving 30 cents.

Airplane Food
I know I’m not the first one to say it... but I hate getting pretzels with my flight. I want peanuts! What the heck… there’s like one airline that gives out peanuts now. What, did they corner the airline peanut market? I don’t want pretzels, or trail mix, or bread sticks. I want peanuts. That’s the way it was in the beginning, and how it still should be.
This is more airplane drink than food...but let’s not argue the details. Every time I fly, I have to order ginger ale. I don’t know why, but that is the only time I order it. Ever. I guess it tastes better at 30,000 feet.

Swimming Food
When I was a kid, I used to go swimming in the local pool in Laredo. You could pick me out fairly easily… I was the blond kid who tanned red in 20 minutes… in Laredo. You could also pick me out because I was the one eating Funions and drinking a Mountain Dew. The weird thing is… I don’t really like Funions but every time I went swimming at the pool, I’d have to have them. Something about burnt Anglo and Funions that went together.

Drinking Food
There are few things that go with beer like an open flame and dead meat. Grilling the cheapest meat allowable for human consumption was usually the order when drinking in someone’s backyard. This is usually Chicken Leg Quarters. The important thing was to make sure they were cooked all the way through… so we’d usually be half-way lit by the time the chicken was ready and forget to take it off the grill and end up eating chicken as thick as toothpicks. I don’t think I’ve ever had chicken leg quarter sober (except when I buy it in a benefit BBQ plate served by someone who has a beer in his hand).

Football Game Food
There is only one real football game food. It’s a cuisine, really. Not the hot dog, not the Cracker Jack’s (I’ve never actually seen anyone eat Cracker Jack’s at a football game...or a baseball one as the song implies)… it’s the Nacho.
No, not those individually cooked with melted jack and cheddar cheese topped with Sour Cream and garnish nachos you get at Applebee’s. I’m talking the round tortilla chips with yellow watery cheese sauce and canned jalapeños thrown on top. Hell yes. Not even real cheese… cheese sauce. I don’t know if they’ve been able to come up with an ingredient list...but give me that yellow # 12 Rico’s Nacho Cheese concauction any day. Garnish with 10-15 of those little napkins that are useless to anything but sticking to your cheese-drenched hand. Yum.
Here’s a side note. Real Mexican food (and I’m not suggesting that the above nachos is counted in the arena of “Mexican food”) doesn’t have sour cream. Any Mexican restaurant that serves sour cream is an expensive version of Taco Bell.
Back on task. Football game food. Sunflower seeds, or anything you have to suck on, crack open and spit out, are a biggie for football games. They really don’t taste too good...but I guess someone once had it in for the dude that has to clean the stadium and thought… “Hey... this is the messiest snack in the world... let’s make this what you should have during a sporting event where over 10,000 people will have access to them.”

Free Food
OK... this is just a list of food that should NEVER cost anything. This should always be gratis when you go to a restaurant that serves it… ready? Chips and salsa, bread sticks, crackers, tortillas, water, extra cheese, olives, jalapenos, pickles, muffins, rolls, substitutions, and refills on soda.

I know there are many other items of food that I associate with something… like corn and Ohio… casseroles and my mother… and pasta and Boston… but I’m tired and…lets face it… a little hungry.

Until next time.

1 comment:

Sara said...

The reason why peanuts aren't served on airlines anymore is due to some people's serious (ie dying of anaphylactic shock) allergy to peanuts.

I do miss them peanuts.