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Know What Your Eating Is It Really Calamari?

Screenshot by Rich Birdsall (http://www.thisamericanlife.org)

OK. So, one of my good friends Jamie C. put this up in front of my face and I think you should be advised. I just want to let you know this might make you a little ill. My question for you is when you order that calamari as an appetizer are you really getting calamari? The picture on the left shows calamari on one side of the plate, sliced hog rectums are on the other. Which is which? Can you tell?

Apparently the story goes like this: A while ago a farmer was visiting a pork-processing plant in Oklahoma. He’s walking through it with a friend, a guy who managed the plant. And at some point he saw boxes stacked on the floor labeled, “artificial calamari.” He stood there, wondering for a second. And then he asked his friend, what’s artificial calamari? Bung, his friend replied. It’s hog rectum. Rectum that would be sliced into rings, deep fried, and boom. There you have it.

Now… I have eaten Calamari. Assuming it WAS Calamari. It might not be. As a taste test proved that one was almost indistinguishable from the other! One would think that bung would have a trademark flavor that would be the tell tale sign, but no. Apparently when cooking them in the fryer the bung swells into a glob, but then… shrinks down to look identical almost magically.

What does this mean? Well it means that in any restaurant anywhere you could be seeing lemon soaked, crispy hog rectum rings being dipped into marinara sauce and getting devoured by your neighboring patrons or worse yet. You could be, or in the past might have eaten them.

“In Miami, more than 30% of fish was being sold as something it wasn’t. In New York, the number was 39%, Boston 48%, Los Angeles 55%. 55! That means if you order fish in LA, you are most likely eating a species you did not order.” - http://www.thisamericanlife.org

For the full story and podcast visit: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/484/doppelgangers

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