When we checked into our rooms laying on our bed was the three page memo I’ve posted below – needless to say when Kim and I initially booked our trip back in January Capetown was scheduled to run out of water the day we were to arrive but it has since been pushed back to later in the year because of their current water rationing – the water in the hotel sink comes out in a fine mist which made for an interesting experience shaving – the drain in the sink does not open and is closed so any water used collects in the basin for re-use – the memo mentioned Capetown is located in a water scarce region with climate unpredictability and that the current drought must be seen as the new normal – when we visited the Castle of Good Hope today Kim and I saw a man filling two large plastic vessels with water from the moat around the castle – just a simple reminder that conserving water doesn’t seem important until you don’t have it
Sometimes my friends do and say things just to get me charged up. A good example is a recent email from Mr. PIB, who sent me a link to an article about Hellman’s effort to encourage people to put mayonnaise on sushi. He innocently said “I thought you might be interested in reading it, too,” having read my briefly expressed views about mayonnaise in a prior blog post. Pretty smooth, Mr. PIB!
So I read the article, and I, too, became one of the people who are disgusted by the thought of people putting white mayonnaise on sushi. But then, I’m pretty much disgusted by the thought of people putting white mayonnaise on anything that will later be consumed by a human being. In fact, I wouldn’t feed white mayonnaise to a starving dog. Its phlegmy, sweaty appearance, its texture, its fundamental blandness, its globbiness on a spoon — these are all sure sensory warnings to attentive humans that mayonnaise is a substance that shouldn’t be eaten. The fact that some poor misguided people use mayo as a binding agent for potato salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, Waldorf salad, and no doubt plenty of other “salads” just shows why I don’t like or eat any of those things and avoid “salads” on general principles.
I recognize, as the article points out, that some places make sushi with spicy mayonnaise. That doesn’t make any difference in my book, for two reasons. First, spicy mayonnaise is as different from white mayonnaise as brown mustard is different from the cloying yellow variety. And second, the thin, almost translucent sheen of spicy mayonnaise daintily brushed onto sushi by some master sushi makers is dramatically different from the quivering, heaping blobs typically applied by the white mayonnaise lover. There simply is no comparison.
In my book, sushi is one of those foods that should never be touched by white mayonnaise — or even be in the same room as it. In that regard, sushi joins a list that includes steak, hot dogs, any baked good, fresh fish, apples, and for that matter any other appetizing item that humans might see fit to gobble down.
And don’t get me started on “relish” — the most inaccurately named food in history — either.