I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Galena, Missouri.
Greetings from Galena, Missouri
N 36° 47.079’ W 093° 30.350’ Elev. 885 ft.
Here’s yet another installment of the SS Me So Hungry Shore Leave files.
This one should probably be entitled Culinary Collisions or When Comfort Foods Collide because it has to do with the weird things people eat. Everybody pairs or combines improbable foods that they say taste great together, although the thought of them may make many others all-but nauseous. But still, to them they’re Comfort Food.
For instance, I have a friend whose favorite comfort food is Guinness® Stout and Chocolate Ice Cream. When he first told me about it I thought he was mixing them together and making a milkshake, a Stoutshake, if you will. He said he ate them separately together but, much like the beer milkshake Doc Ricketts ordered in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, he thought a Chocolate Stoutshake was a great idea.
In another bastardization of perfectly good beer another friend had a Sunday tradition of mixing Beer and Orange Juice. Calling it a Poor Man’s Mimosa, he immediately pulled out the old saw — “Don’t knock it ’til you try it!” — when my nose crinkled and eyebrows furrowed into the internationally recognized signal for “Ewwww!”
Other examples of Culinary Collisions include my mother’s beloved Fritos® and Buttermilk (which I’ve never tried), and a longtime roommate’s abominable treatment of a truly venerable institution: the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. I only became aware of her near-criminal defacement of the much-revered and -adored icon when she had to make a special run to the store so she could make a PB&J.
We’ve got bread, we’ve got peanut butter, we’ve got jelly, I said. “I know,” she replied, “but we’re out of lettuce.” Huh? She dashed off and returned carrying a head of iceberg lettuce. When I asked what she needed it for she replied, “For that crunch.”
Now, everyone I’ve ever met has known since childhood that you put potato chips on your PB&J “for that crunch.” But no, she used freakin’ iceberg lettuce. That, my friends, is not a culinary collision, it’s a taste-treat train wreck.
I know I shouldn’t cast aspersions on other peoples’ comfort foods, especially when I’ve seen noses crinkled and eyebrows furrowed at the mention of my favorite comfort food: Fried Eggs and Peanut Butter.
I was introduced to this truly delectable delight when I was a kid by my toothless, 70-year-old-plus maternal grandmother. I don’t remember if she ate it every morning or it just seemed like it. Nevertheless, I tried it as a kid and have been eating it ever since. It’s definitely one of those “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it” foods.
Here’s how to make it correctly: Fry eggs over-easy, the runnier the yolks the better. While the eggs are frying, put a generous glob of peanut butter on your plate. When the eggs are done lay them directly on top of the peanut butter; this will help melt the peanut butter a little. Then mash hell out of them until they are thoroughly mixed.
This little collision — a mash-up — of improbable flavors is great all by itself, or with crackers or toast. Pair it with raisin bread toast with apple butter and you’ve got pure nirvana. Trust me.
Regardless of what you may think of my favorite culinary collision/comfort food it will never be as bad as my former roommate’s PB&J, much less the Poor Man’s, no, Ghetto Mimosa. You see, those verge on the obscene. Even by my standards.
But who’s to say what’s good or not? Undoubtably there are weirder combinations people enjoy. In fact, if you have one, please let me know what it is in the comment section. But its got to be real and not some concoction made from whole cloth; you have to actually eat it.
If it’s really interesting or weird or completely improbable you may win a coveted and cherish-able postcard — a collector’s item! — sent to you from somewhere in America by the cast and crew of the SS Me So Hungry. ‘Til then, bon appétit!
And so we roll.
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.