Friday, February 22, 2013


On a recent segment of "This American Life", a reporter and several (overly-adventurous, in my view) participants discussed a heretofor unknown problem: the substitution of pig anuses for calamari rings. Did I spell the plural of anus right? Should I have gone with a more earthy description? But no. Having this discussion at all is, for me, life-changing, even life-diminishing given my fondness for calamari. For the past several years, I have sought out the best fried calamari I could find. Some have been good, some really awful. Oddly, one of the best is still Carraba's, although a street version in Venezia was neck-and-neck with the ubiquitous American chain's offering. And the whole calamari in a sharp lemon sauce at Pia's Trattoria in Gulfport, Fl was really marvelous. But not fried.
But should I be saying neck and neck? Or is anus-to-anus more accurate? Enterprising pig processors have apparently long been trying to figure out how they could use this last (no pun) piece of the porker, and some brilliant if twisted butcher finally remarked on the similarity in looks (if not texture or taste) that these orifices have with the blessed calamari. The question remains: does eating fried calamari put you at risk of no longer really being a pescetarian? How does the four-legged source get into the calamari food chain? Who - here's the big question for me - would consent to adding pig anuses (anusi? anisii?) to calamari? We have been snookered into accepting bogus human being in Congress (vocally born-again Christains with a major jones for high-price kinky sex, for one tiresome example); we have finally accepted that we're running out of everything that makes life worth living (fossil fuel, orange roughy, pure Italian EVOO, tomatoes that have taste, clean air, aigret feathers...the list is endless and too depressing to continue), and now we have to think twice before ordering calamari?
If I could, I'd move to Italy (I'm thinking Lucca, or Bologna, even in a pinch slightly farther west to Dijon)(yes, I know, Dijon is in France). But if I move to Italy, will the problem follow me? Will I have to learn sufficient Italian to ask whether or not there is a percentage of pig anus (I give up, I'm going singular)? "Mi dispiace, camariere, ma ha pig anus in the calamari?"
I hope not.


  1. It's about time you posted! I just happened to be in your blog neighborhood...

    1. I have been a slug. I am abjectly sorry. Now that I have a new computer, I am trying to be a more responsible blogger. Thanks for checking. I am grateful you hung in there.


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