Thursday, November 2

What the heck is Horseradish

Everyday so far this week, we (my work group) have ordered food for lunch. So officially, including my short stint at the Web Hosting place (perhaps the best Company i ever worked for), i haven't bought my own lunch in a month. I am starting to feel a little spoiled, but, just a little though haha... When i tried to pitch in they always refused my money, and was told not to worry about it... Today i started to really wonder what the heck is going on. "Am i going to get a bill at the end of the month or something" i quipped out loud-- which only invoked laughter not answers. "Okay then" i said, i will worry about it later or not worry at all... It's the new guy wisdom i suppose --shouldn't ask too many questions--.

This days menu; Pastrami sandwich, fries and or onion rings. I've had some pretty impressive Pastramis many times before, and this specific one, from a small sandwich joint called "The Hat" here in Simi Valley, is pretty good but no where near the top of the charts, but good nonetheless... Pastrami, you may or may not know is salted meat (infused in a thick brine), then dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices and smoked (then boiled after the smoking stage). The pastrami sandwich itself is easy and flavorful, it usually only comes with mustard and maybe onions as the only other ingredient. If you're the firey kind then you may splash some tabasco on tapatio on it without compromising flavor, otherwise the smoked meat is flavorful enough... For some reason i don't know about, the sandwiches came with "horseradish" and "housedressing" packets. I asked Scott, the guy who picked up the food, and he wasn't so sure about the horseradish, "might be for the fries" he guessed. Who the heck eats fries with horseradish? The rest of the guys were equally stomped too... Although i was starved, my curiosity was killing me so i did what most intelligent human beings would do when faced with such a conundrum, i looked it up on the internet, before eating...

Well the horseradish addition in Pastrami sandwiches, it appears, originated from the sandwich joint folks in New York. Interesting stuff i thought, but I didn't go so far as to research how radish came about or the reason and logic behind spreading horseradish in a pastrami sandwich. Ultimately, i just wanted to know what the heck Horseradish was doing in my Pastrami (and what the heck is horseradish anyway?).

Interestingly, all this mambo jumbo stuff got me thinking about the Filipino sandwich condiments, which by definition is Banana Ketchup and maybe like mayonnaise. See back in the Philippines, we put ketchup in almost anything fried and grilled (and a lot of times Salad... YuP Salad). Eggs, steaks, chicken, pork-chops, lamb, shish kebab, pizza, i mean PIZZZA... Yes Pizza. In fact pizza is more a delicacy there rather than a fast food item. Furthermore they have Pizza Hut restaurants there, not the rather small take-out or delivery joints we got out here. These are fancy restaurants, they serve your Meat Lovers pizza on a real ceramic plates complete with utensils and knife, the condiments on the tables are ketchup and the basic salt and pepper. How do you like that??? You basically ate your pizza like a Steak, only with ketchup not A1 steak sauce...


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