As I was driving through the town of Redwood Falls I noticed the very distinctive shiny, silver, stereotypical hotdog stall (why a hotdog stall needs to be silver and streamlined is a mystery - other than to suggest a distant design concept from the modernist era of the 1930s). The large line that snaked around the venue was the globally recognizable sign of good food - so I stopped to taste this piece of America.
The chalk board adorning the vehicle displayed many varieties and types of hotdog, but one in particular caught my eye – it was called the 2nd amendment. As I waited for my turn I wondered why a hotdog would be named after an amendment introduced on September 5, 1789, that prohibited (in peacetime or wartime) the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent. I then realized, as I mulled this question over, that I was getting confused with the 3rd amendment and that the 2nd was the right to keep and bear arms – subsequently the hotdog would be fully loaded (if one cannot decide on what to have on a menu then to have everything seems to be the preferred option).
This resulted in being presented with a hotdog that had every ingredient the hotdog vendor had in his possession. This was a culmination of onions, chilies, peppers, sauerkraut, cream cheese, bacon, sour cream, and all manner of other constituent parts that I did not recognize or care to dissect; buried underneath all of this somewhere was a sausage. It was if I had taken all the food I had eaten for the previous two weeks and gathered it together in one place to balance on a bun. As always with these culinary endeavors into the unknown, I fail to learn from the error of my previous ways, suffice to say that the resulting action of eating such a monument to American culture reminded me that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and without entering into all the details in such a public forum, it had the same disturbing result I once experienced after eating a watermelon on the west coast of India.
As if one had not learnt from such a catapult into the outdoor fast-food transient cooking practices of Midwest America, I undertook all that the Clay County Fair had to offer the following day. The Clay County Fair is held every September in Spencer and is the largest county fair in the state of Iowa. It has the second largest agricultural exposition in North America, bringing in over 328,000 visitors a year – I now make that 328,001.
Food was in abundance and I walked for an hour to find the perfect lunch; I decided upon trying a French-Canadian delicacy called poutine. It is a dish from Quebec made with French fries - topped with brown gravy and curd cheese. I have realized through time that it is a common practice to eat meals in the Americas that are solely made from different shades of brown – thus with barely a nod to any food groups other than starch and fat, I embraced the soggy fries. This is what an inebriated person would choose to eat late on a Friday night after a vast ingestion of alcoholic beverages – what could possible go wrong with cheese, gravy and fries, most people’s three favorite food stuffs together in one glorious cacophony. Why not make the whole thing into a smoothie and drink it, this could save valuable chewing time for those about to pass out.
My three favorite foods would be curry, sushi and ice-cream, but I do not wish to see all three melded together and placed in a plastic cup, with a wooden fork for company.