I don’t like meat on the bone.
This thought occurred to me the other day. Or rather I suddenly became properly conscious of it (it’s not like not liking meat on the bone was suddenly a surprise to me).
Does it make me a wuss? That’s the question that immediately followed the thought. Because, you see, in my mind at least – and maybe in your mind too – there is something ideologically macho about eating meat on the bone. Ripping off a hugely greasy chicken leg and tucking into the thigh Henry VIII style. Chowing down manfully on a dripping spare rib. Shoving your gravy encrusted beard into a Desperate Dan style cow-pie replete with horns sticking up out of the pastry.
But I’ve never liked food like that. I really don’t like finding hard inedible stuff in my food. I don’t even like fish bones, for Heaven’s sake. Something else I had in common with the Queen Mum.
As a child the worst meal of the week for me was on Thursday’s. Because we’d have chops.
And there it would be on my plate. A whacking great bone. Or worse still. A sharp little one with splintery bits sewn amongst the fat.
I’d pick at it daintily with my knife and fork, completely eschewing the idea of picking it up in my fingers and bloodthirstily sucking the flesh off it.
Give me a chicken Kiev any day. Or a detached pre-packaged breast (steady!).
And that holds true even today. I went for a chicken curry at a friend’s house years ago and was mortified to find bones in the curry – still attached to the meat. I struggled with the cuisine in Egypt too when I went there for the exact same reason: chicken pizza – with bones on it!
I just don’t like it.
My eldest boy does. Even as a youngling he’d happily gnaw on a bone and tease off every fleck of flesh.
But not me.
I like to think it’s because I’m a little more rarefied. More cultured. But I suspect it’s because I’m a big girl’s blouse. I would never have survived in the Neolithic.
What? Eat that? You mean you’re not going to skin and bone it for me? But it’s still got the face on it! Can’t we just make a stew?
I would starve. I’d be dead within weeks. Man cannot live by wild berries alone.
And the trouble is I’m not particularly keen on berries.
So thank God for pre-prepared food. I am very much a child of the modern age.
The greatest civilizing influence ever was the family butcher.
Which is rather ironic when you think about it.
Anyone care for a chicken nugget?