Sunday, July 11, 2010


Zanahorias are Mexican carrots. These are less well known than refried beans, tamales, tacos, and burritos, which are already quite obscure out here. I brought back a few bags along with all the other Mexican food, and gave them to some locals. I would typically hand them one, then (while they turn it over and sniff it) warn them that they are spicy, then casually eat one, and watch them seal their fate with one bite.

This is precisely what I was going for with Pop Rocks. Didn't work, cause they have Pop Rocks out here. Fortunately, Mexican capitalism and distribution is somewhat less aggressive, and they do not have zanahorias out here. They do have carrots, of course. And since 100% of the many, many carrots that 100% of Austrians have ever eaten were not remotely spicy, they assume that zanahorias aren't either. Even after I warn them. Even after I explain that zanahorias are made by pickling carrots in vinegar and chiles. Oh, how many eyes I've seen widen, the confused and vaguely accusatory look toward me, the rapid grab of whatever drink is available.


"Yes?" Calmly munch another one.

"These are spicy!"

"I told you."

Our Tuesday Pub Quiz team, Rabbits on Fire, lost in the semifinals. Perhaps it was zanahoria-induced trauma, or torpor from the chicken enchilada feast I brought to make sure nobody exiled me over the zanahorias. Maybe it's cause we did not seek the endorsement of the increasingly visionary Paul the Octopus. Could be cause we had half as many people as the winning team. But our team was never so appropriately named.

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