Pork Rinds. The other Pigskin.

The Super Bowl and certain pork byproducts share a common ancestor – the pigskin. The first known footballs date back to 16th century Scotland and were comprised of pig bladders ensconced in deer leather. Pigskin eventually became the material of discerning footballers until a few centuries later when cowhide and polyurethane finally tackled football fabrication. However, they’re not as edible as “the other white meat,” or rather, the skin that covers it before being deep fried in peanut oil (and no matter what branding message the National Pork Board pays to play in its half-time commercials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture insists that pork is not a white meat).
In parts of the states pork rinds are known onomatopoeically as “cracklings.” In Newfoundland, they’re “scrunchions” and inexplicably in Quebec, pork rinds are referred to as “oreilles de Christ” or, literally, “ears of Christ.” This adds a whole new dimension to notions of transubstantiation (a fancy way of saying “metaphysical cannibalism”). The whole “Eat of my body drink of my blood” thing is a lot more enticing if oreilles de Christ were served instead of communion wafers. Church attendance would soar. And so would cholesterol. So, what blood/wine do you pair with them?

Ray Isle, Food & Wine’s executive wine editor. suggests a medium-bodied red.

“You need some tannins for the fat, but salt accentuates tannins, so you don’t want anything too intense. How about a Zinfandel. Cline’s 2009 California Zinfandel ($12) offers a lot of flavor for a fair price.”

Speaking of churchy things, the Public Religion Research Institute reported this week that about 3-in-10 Americans, believe that “God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.” And we wonder why the Super Bowl is a Sunday. Go Niners!

Kudos to Wikipedia upon which I leaned heavily for this bit.

Quantified Self (Loathing)

Magritte Mirror
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Ditto the over-examined life, which is why I’m dubious of the so-called “quantified self” movement taking root with smartphones and smartypants hither and yon.

This is how it works: Use new consumer tech and apps to track everything about oneself, use the data to enforce self-improvement regimen in an endless feedback loop of self-knowledge that suggests a kind of narcissistic moebius strip. Continue reading “Quantified Self (Loathing)”