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Essay: "Food"

by John Hobbs
Food comes in endless shapes, colors, tastes and textures with each having its own distinct aromas. Names vary depending on what part of the world or United States you live in. For example, when I'm from the Ozark mountain area, I grew up around a grandpa who are the pig from snout to tail and called everything by name. Around his house pig balls were called...well, pig balls. In other areas of the U.S. they are referred to as 'mountain oysters' as if a less offensive sounding name will disguise the fact that you're eating pig testicles. Regardless of the name, I highly recommend a pork chop instead. I grew up eating hog back. The first time I heard it called pork rind, I though it was something new on the pig that somehow my grandpa had been missing, so I phoned home immediately! The same with pig's feet. The first time I heard them referred to as 'hocks' I thought that sounded disgusting! Not that pig's feet has the ring of some exquisite comfort food, but I grew up with pig's feet, so the name didn't affect me like the nauseating sound of 'hocks'. Yes, I know that the hock is above the feet and not really considered pig's feet, but around gramp's table anything below the ham bone were feet! Although name and people's tastes widely vary; one thing that is nearly universal and that is what we consider comfort food. Girls, when unwinding from a hectic day, stressful week, busted relationship, broken nail, or broken anything that will justify her surrendering herself will usually find that comfort with chocolate. There is a different chocolate, chocolate covered, chocolate filled, or chocolate dipped to accommodate her every level of needed comfort. For example, after a stressful week my ex girlfriend could unwind after a row of chocolate covered cherries. Sometimes she would knock out a box on Monday anticipating a stressful week to kinda help 'nip it in the butt' as she would always say. However, if 'I' was the cause of her stress, then nothing less than a box of assorted imported chocolates from a little exotic chocolate store that she 'happened to find' one day, accompanied with a glass of wine and a mandatory foot rub would do the trick. Then, of course, the rest of the week would be spent fielding the question, "Honey, does this make me look fat?" "You look lovely sweetheart."

Yes, I would say that chocolate is universal. For a few small mussels (or whole box) women can throw caution to the wind and expanding derriere be damned! (Usually illusional) and enjoy a moment of serenity...With most guys it is not complicated, usually we are drawn to those spicy, salty, prepackaged food that screams heart attack and cause extreme abdominal discomfort. For me, it's Slim Sims bean dip, ranch nachos, and gummy bears. For some reason, if I am not thirsty from an excessive intake of salt, and battling a losing war with bloating and severe gastric attacks that under no circumstances can be good for the ozone, and just all around miserable, then I'm not in my food comfort zone. Strange, I know. But then there are more than a few guys who will agree. For us, we don't try to understand...just pass the dip please...But overall, food may be the one universal enjoyment that can unite the world. Try breaking bread with your neighbors.