Friday, February 03, 2012

On The Bone

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.

Euw!

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?



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29 comments:

Wanderlust said...

Do you know what they put in chicken nuggets? There may be some meat in there...somewhere.

My kids hate meat on the bone, too. It's hard not to admit you're eating a carcass when you see them. Fortunately, we like berries.

Steve said...

Wanderlust: you're right - there's probably more bone content in the nuggets than in the drumsticks... good job I like hamburgers too.

Jon said...

I'm one of those horrid people who suck marrow from the bones and have it dribble down my chin. I'll even crack them with my teeth sometimes, just to get at it.

That said, I share your horror of chops. Not the bones, but the inevitable little nuggets of gristle that always seem to adhere to mine.

There is no offal that I find awful, but gristle can go whistle.

Gorilla Bananas said...

They would have fed you all the boneless dishes in the stone age - worms, snails, entrails, arse of chicken for a treat. A clever fellow like you would have probably invented new non-stick-to-beard recipes, which would have elevated your status to parity with the infertile women.

Steve said...

Jon: yeah, gristle makes me heave. Cartilege in the mouth just doesn't work for me. Nor scratchings either. Though I am partial to a nice crisp piece of crackling.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: hey, I thought you gorillas were vegetarians anyway?!

Gorilla Bananas said...

What of it? We don't measure status in the same way as humans. You would be on the bottom rung as an eater of mashed-up, tenderised meat.

vegemitevix said...

Don't mind it on the bone but not if its too soft or rare. I had a Samoan friend who would suck all the marrow out. I don't like meat that tastes like meat, it has to taste like garlic or herbs or something.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: but far healthier and with a far more efficient metabolism. Mashed up food is the way to go.

Vix: meat that tastes like vegetables. Sounds like Jamie Oliver's school dinners.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel Steve.
The less it looks like meat the better for me and my children are the same.
I rarely eat meat now and then only if someone has made me a meal and they don't know how I feel about meat.

the fly in the web said...

I used to know a chef who said that if you couldn't eat it it shouldn't be on the plate.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Ya big wuss! ;-)

Marginalia said...

Oh you poor thing! My heart bleeds for you.

Can I suggest you feast on slugs and snails - possibly a squid or two.

Or become a veggie. Eat cheese,fermentented pomegranate paste, boiled yak's milk mixed with blood. Bird's nest soup has no bones in it, nor does tripe and onions, lights or any of the animal's soft tissue.

The world's your oyster - they're pretty bone-less as are clams, cockles, mussels and sea urchins.

Get some backbone my boy, with or without marrow.

Steve said...

Anonymous: totally agree. Meat should look like food not the animal it came from. Possibly that's dishonest but how many of us would eat meat if the face was still on it?

The fly in the web: hence, McDonald's fall in profits.

Very Bored in Catalunya: I bet you wouldn't put bones in paella.

Marginalia: don't like crustaceans. Don't get me wrong - I love chicken and beef. I just don't want the boney bits with the meat. As The Fly said above - you can't eat the bones so why put them on the plate? Decoration? I'd rather have a sprig of parsley.

John Gray said...

I wont send you a pork chop from one of my own pigs then steve

Steve said...

John: you could always send me a joint of ham...

Gappy said...

"The greatest civilizing influence ever was the family butcher": Discuss.

Now there's thought for a blog post or two...

About Last Weekend said...

Oh gosh, I am the opposite - and I'll eat what's inside the bone too - love bone marrow. Does any of the Royal Family, truly hope so!

Alienne said...

"Something else I had in common with the Queen Mum"? What, apart from the fish bone issue, did you have in common with her then? Do tell - a liking for hats with fruit on them, an addiction to gin and/or the gee gees?

Being Me said...

Keep your chicken nuggets away from me! That being said, I am very much in your court with this one - I barely eat meat at all (and have not had red meat in over 12 years) and really cannot bear to eat it on the bone. I'd be a goner not just in Neolithic times but even on Survivor and all those modern-day eating challenge shows.

Steve said...

Gappy: you could base a whole doctorate around it.

About Last Weekend: you are plainly a true carnivore!

Alienne: you'll have to wait for my autobiography to be published (like Mark Twain's, a hundred years after my death).

Being Me: i was joking about the nuggets. Give me a nice roast chicken or a bolognese or a chilli any day. Or a cottage pie or a stew. Just leave the skeleton in the butcher's dustbin.

Keith said...

I can't even manage strawberry jam if it has pips in t.

Wusses of the world unite !

Steve said...

Keith: I'm with you, man! Seedless jam forever! Food without bits in! Orange juice without bits in! Filtering rules!

Mark said...

You wrote it - big girl's blouse. Nuff said - ha ha.

Katriina said...

As a child, I can remember stripping chicken drumsticks clean and gnawing on the soft cartilage on the ends of the bone... Then I moved to Japan, and instead of continuing with such disgusting eating habits I started eating seaweed, squid ink and sea urchin instead.

Steve said...

Mark: but my table manners are fit for royalty.

Katriina: OK. Suddenly cartilage is sounding a little more yummy.

The Sagittarian said...

I likie my meat still twictching on the plate, bone or not! (oh er...)plus I know how it's all 'made', prepackaged or not.
I don't like offal tho', thats just weird!!

Steve said...

Amanda: you sound like you prefer your meat the natural way - red in tooth and claw!

Nota Bene said...

Yep. Wuss.