June 15, 2012 by Susie Finkbeiner
I love getting mail. Now, I’m not talking about mass mailers advertising window installation. And I certainly am not excited about receiving bills. But, when a friend sends a card, now, that’s when I get a little giddy.
Imagine my excitement when I received a package from AUSTRALIA!
See, I have this friend who lives in Tasmania (the small island at the very bottom of Australia). I met her through the Novel Matters blog. She is lovely and wonderful and will one day release a novel that will blow us all away. Her name is Megan Sayer (You’ll want to remember that name).
Megan sent me a gift. A gift that I was a little afraid of.
She sent me…
Yeast extract. The legendary favorite spread of the nation of Australia…
Did you know that New Zealand has something similar? It’s called Marmite. Word has it that Marmite is nasty compared to Vegemite.
I had to try this Vegemite. Because I had to show Megan that I’m cool. Because I had to prove that Americans are open to experiencing the traditions of other cultures. Because I love trying new foods.
I learned that the best way to eat it was to toast bread (preferably English Muffins) and slather with butter (real butter…margarine is nasty). Then mix the Vegemite into the butter. Oh, mercy. It’s good stuff.
Now, I admit, I am an adventurous eater. I love trying new flavors and textures of food. I’ve eaten quail eggs (that look unnervingly like eyeballs when floating in a soup), chicken feet, fish eyeballs (what’s up with the eyeballs?), fried rattlesnake (tastes like chicken), BBQ alligator, octopus, calamari, Twinkies (seriously, folks…those are the riskiest of things to eat)…
As a writer, it is important to try new things. To learn about the lives other people live. To “get into their skin” (in a non-Hannibal Lecter kind of way). Part of that is to eat new foods. Travel to new places. Read different kinds of books.
And I would venture to say that it’s important for all walks of life to try new things. It can make us well-rounded, educated, experienced people. AND, most importantly, it might just make us appreciate people who are not like us. People who have a different understanding of the world. It may help us to see the world in a different way.
Tell me…what is an unusual thing that you tried? What was the outcome? What is the craziest food you’ve eaten?