Appetites of “The Other”

It’s slowly dawning on me why mud cake is such a popular “American” recipe in Northern Europe. It’s so rich, gooey and indulgent, my guess is that few people there are willing to claim it as their own. Oh you know those Americans, they’ll eat just about anything. Of course we do the same thing in the States as we slather Hollandaise all over our spring asparagus. Oh you know those French and their dairy products. The French probably rationalize Hollandaise the same way. You know what goes on up in Holland of course, those people and their butterfat! There’s always a convenient “other” out there to blame your own excesses on, isn’t there?

The practice is at least as old as Shakespeare. There’s a reason so many Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedies are set Italy. Oh those Italians, so dramatic, always sticking swords in each another don’t you know. I remember from my university days Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy. Set in an “unnamed Italian court” it’s an orgy of rape and limb chopping, and ends with the hero swinging back and forth on a rope during a feast shooting people with arrows. Sort of the Jacobean equivalent of Snakes on a Plane.

Regarding the mud cake, I’m not complaining, mind you. The Fins are spot-on with this recipe: it’s is just the sort of thing we like on this side of the pond. Guilty as charged!

2 thoughts on “Appetites of “The Other””

  1. I never knew the French to need an excuse to put a buttery rich sauce on anything! They do seem to blame the yanks for all their guilty pleasures (fast food mostly), but thats a fair cop I think, we did inflict McDonalds on the world.

    1. Meh, I’m just speculating. 😉

      And while I generally defend McDonald’s you’ve got a point there. I think there’s a use for fast food just about everywhere, though I remember driving into Freiburg, an historic walled city on the edge of the Black Forest in Germany, and there was a McDonald’s built into the city wall itself. I thought: huh, maybe this has gone a bit too far…

      Thanks, Frankly!

      – Joe

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