Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sticky, Wet and Very Messy

I went to a local RibFest with my brother the other day – we went to the same one last year.

I love ribs – they are a real man’s man type of food. Sexism aside, ribs epitomize the male in today’s society.

Think about it, the meat is still on the bone, providing that primal sense of hunter-gatherer, dating back to when men went out to hunt for they families survival. The brownish-red rib sauce, dripping off the meat is reminiscent of the blood of the animal, another primal metaphor. You even have to eat them with your two hands, although a knife and fork can be used, that is just wrong.

Ribs were meant to be eaten with our bare hands, just as our gave-dwelling ancestors feasted on their freshly hunted food stuffs.

The whole process of cooking ribs, over an open-flame is yet another link to the past – they didn’t have ovens or stoves back in the era of early humans.

Maybe that’s why I love ribs – it brings out the man in me. Or maybe it’s just because ribs are a lot of fun to eat.

Sometimes, the messy things in life, are the most enjoyable – and ribs certainly are messy. Oozing with sauce, which always seems to find its way from the ribs, to other parts of my face, my hands and sometimes my clothes.

I got very messy at RibFest, not just with sauce – but also with mud and ice cream. It rained for the first part of our visit – I spent over 30-minutes in a bus shelter with my brother, as we waited out the rain, to see if the skies would clear.

We got lucky, the sun came out, and although we got drizzled on a few more times, we managed to tough it out. Though the grounds were very muddy – as the whole event is held in a park, so I got covered in mud and gunk as I traversed from one “ribber” to another.

But that’s the way our ancestors did it too – through the muddy forests, and dense brush of Mother Nature’s wildest of environments. They didn’t have the luxury of a bus shelter to take cover in.

It is always best to go to RibFest with someone. See, they have all these restaurants and bars, competing for Best Ribs of the Fest. Sure, you could go to one place, and try their ribs, but ribs are pretty heavy – chances are you’d be too full to try other places.

So, what we did – same as last year – was to get half racks from various places, and split them. That way, we each get a good sampling from all the different places – or as many as we could try before becoming too full.

The best way to hunt for your food is in a group too – you need backup support to help lure the prey, and then corner it, so that you get a clear shot. And it doesn’t hurt to have someone to talk to while you’re out in the wilds of nature.

It was nice to catch up with my brother, as we feasted on some very manly food, in the natural surroundings of a big urban park. Why we end up going on country music day is beyond me? I’m pretty sure they didn’t have country music in the cave man period – if they had, we probably wouldn’t have evolved much since those early days!

As for the ice cream, well – we all have the inner kid in us. You know that nutty, funny, zany character pushing to get out . . .

But that’s another story for another day.

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