Egged on

The Special One hates black pudding. In all honesty, she’s never really eaten the stuff, so she actually just hates the idea of it. To be fair, I can understand that the idea of big chunks of fat suspended in congealed blood isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste. Personally I love the stuff, but there’s no accounting for taste.

The point is that all cultures have their own unique food traditions, many of which seem alien to outsiders. Koreans would probably look at me quizzically if I suggested that eating dog wasn’t necessarily in my top ten list of ‘things to do before I’m 40’. Equally, I’m not going to eat goat’s head in Mexico just because a native says that it’ll taste good.

All of which brings me, inevitably, to eggnog.

Eggnog, like affection for George W Bush, just isn’t something that you can find in the UK. Merely the sound of it is enough to put me off. It somehow brings to mind a cross between Advocaat liqueur and the raw egg ‘hair of the dog’. And that’s no good thing, in anybody’s book.

But I’d hate for anybody to say that I’m not assimilating. Well, I’d hate for them to continue to say that I’m not assimilating, at least. So trusting in my fellow country dweller, and taking my life into my own hands, I decided to take my first step into the brave new world by walking into Starbucks and requesting an eggnog latte.

Sure, I know it’s not actually eggnog, but everybody’s got to start somewhere. It’s kind of like building up to eating horse meat in France or Japan by having a quick snack of roasted donkey.

To be honest, the eggnog latte wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Yet it was kind of like kissing the ugliest girl in school – vaguely enjoyable at the time, but in the back of your mind you know there’s something not quite right about it.

The problem with the eggnog latte for me was that I just couldn’t identify a single ingredient. And for somebody who can definitely cook a bit, that’s faintly disconcerting. If somebody had told me that there was no coffee in there, I wouldn’t have been surprised. And while I’m sure there’s supposed to be some nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves contained within, it could equally have been toilet cleaner for all I know.

Still, I’m all for tradition, and if eggnog makes people think of Christmas, that’s fine by me. Just make sure there’s plenty of mulled wine to keep me occupied in the meantime.

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