Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Vile Weed

"He could do this. He'd survived boot camp. He'd survived combat and the harsh weather of Afghanistan. He could survive br*ccoli. Probably."
~ Shannon Stacey, Yours to Keep

When both the 41st President of these here United States of the U.S.A. and the most important character on the #1 TeeVee show from the 1990's agree that br*ccoli[1] is a "vile weed", you just know that it truly has to be some form of terrorist biochemical warfare, a Communist plot, or a Soup Nazi scheme.

The vile weed is part of the Brassicaceae (mustard/cabbage) family. Other (actually edible) cruciferous vegetables in the same family are: cauliflower, turnips, radishes, daikon[2]/white radish, kale, Brussels sprouts, br*ccolini, bok choy[3],  kai-lan/Chinese br*ccoli/Chinese kale, rutabagas/swedes/Swedish turnips, rapini[4]/br*ccoli raab, and collard greens ~ all of which I enjoy immensely. 

Unfortunately, I am more than resigned to the fact that the vile weed is present in many Asian dishes and will eat it if absolutely necessary; however, I won't go out of my way to specifically order it either (which is why I never order Br*ccoli Beef at a Chinese restaurant ~ and hopefully that will be the last mention of that offensive expletive from here on out; I do apologize to any of the more genteel readers out there). And, no matter what the circumstances, there is absolutely never any reason to ruin a perfectly good Pizza by adding the vile weed as one of the grilled vegetable toppings; that is just an unforgivable and blasphemous act.

When I was a kid, I used to sneak my helping of the vile weed to our dogs under the table; luckily, the dogs were stupid enough to think that any "people food" must be palatable. (Seriously, how picky can their tastes be? They like drinking from the toilet and lie around all day licking themselves, anyway.) I just hope that PETA isn't reading this 'blog-entry and that the Statue of Limitations[5] has expired for those offenses.

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero uno:

"Br*ccoli" comes from Italian; it is the plural of "br*ccolo", which comes from "brocc(o)", meaning "sprout" or "spike", plus "-olo", a diminutive suffix. Hence, it basically means "little spike" (which is exactly what the vile weed tastes like, of course). 
(See also: "broach" or "brocade")

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, ナンバー2:

"Daikon"/"大根derives from the Japanese word and literally meaning "large root".

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, 第三:

"Bok choy"/"白菜" comes from Cantonese and literally means "white vegetable" (even though it is usually green). 

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero quattro:

"Rapini" comes directly from Italian. "Rapa" in Italian means "turnip", and, in Italy, rapini is also known as "cime di rapa" (meaning "turnip tops").

5. Which is an actual well-known statue, much like the Statue of the Liberty, the Statue of the four Marx Brothers on Mount Rushmore (Chico and Zeppo look nothing like they did in the movies, but Groucho and Harpo are spot-on), and Rodin's famous "Statue of a Guy sitting on the john" (well, in French that would be "La Statue d'un Homme assis sur le jean").

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