Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Chew on That
According to this BBC report, a diner in Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria, saw “the Arabic word for God and the name of the prophet Muhammad” in beef gristle that had been boiled and then fried. Since first being discovered last week, thousands of people have visited the eatery to take a look, and Muslim scholars that frequent the joint claim the incident as proof that Islam is the world’s one and only true religion.
A blogger over at Epicurious.com has compiled a list of such foodie visual manifestations, most of which I have covered in the book or on this here blog. Having looked at lots of foodstuffs emblazoned with religious and secular iconography – pancakes, oatmeal, tomatoes, carrots, pretzels, potato chips, chocolate, etc., etc. – I’ve wondered about the wasted food.
Judging by the image of this gristle, it seems best that no one ate this particular example. Of course, Nigeria is not America or France, or even South Africa for that matter. I like to eat, and have eaten in some pretty rustic places, like the slums of Nairobi and jungles of Malaysia, but I have never eaten a piece of meat, or gristle, that looks like this one.
Eating habits aside, a sighting like this really drives home the point how similar we humans really are, especially in our understanding of the world in the continuous, pixilated glare of images.