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The Purple Menace


#poetry #poetryworld #poetrycommunity #WritersLift Vegetables, vegetables, yes. I have met many vegetables and most of the family members I like and enjoy being friends with. I eat them and value our relationship. But as in any family group, there are always some whom we do not like as well as their relatives. For me, this black sheep of the vegetable family would have to be the eggplant.


The first thing I do not like about the eggplant is its name. When I hear the name, I think of an egg---round, oval, small, white, and of a plant---green, leafy, growing in someone’s garden. However, that is not even close to what an eggplant looks like. An eggplant is about the size of my fist, dark purple, smooth, and sort of pear shaped. I like things to look like their names, and this one does not.


The next thing that offends me about the eggplant is that its purple skin must be peeled off with a knife before cooking. Purple is not a bad color, but when removed, the pale, sickly-looking cream-colored inside is revealed, which must then be sliced to be cooked, or chopped up for eggplant salad.


Anyhow, this eggplant has a very nasty personality trait. If, after the skin is removed, the cream-colored inner part isn’t fried or chopped or processed very soon, it begins to turn a threatening darker tone, bit by bit. The progression continues until the menacing color has completely conquered the lighter one. Then, of course, it is totally impossible for me to ever consider eating it.


When I first met my husband, he was always talking about how much he liked eggplant----thinly sliced and fried in a pan like little potato pancakes or made into salad and mixed with a cold sauce. He also enjoyed it under a blanket of melted cheese, eggplant parmesan, or drenched in a jacket of spicy tomato sauce, eggplant marinara. Yuck on all counts. Now I admit that anything with cheese on it can’t be all bad, but eggplant really pushes it.


The fourth trait that that assaults me about eggplant is its texture. After being cooked or chopped, its consistency becomes mushy. Now mushy food is wimpy and I have always considered mushy food somewhat unintelligent. Who wants to eat stupid food? So its mushiness is another quality that will keep eggplant from ever being my friend.


Now let’s talk about the main reason most of us eat. No, not sustenance. Not nutrition. Taste. A food can be very unhealthy but if it catches you in the right mood or on the right occasion, it well might find its way into your mouth, if it tastes good. Well, eggplant fails the taste test for me. I find it bitter. It is not crunchy. It is not sweet. It is not smooth. Its taste has absolutely no redeeming qualities for my discriminating palate.

So, suppose I were a teacher and the eggplant were a student in my class. At report card time, the eggplant’s grades would look like this:

Name: D Skin Color: C Personality: D Texture: D Taste: F


Thus, I guess it’s safe to say that the vegetable which most offends me is the eggplant. I consider it a true menace to those of us who appreciate the green, yellow, white, red, and orange members of the vegetable family. The eggplant and I will never have a good relationship; fortunately, I get along beautifully with all its cousins.


Do you have a favorite or a least favorite food? Please share with me. Or maybe you have a defense of the eggplant. That's OK too. Your comments are welcome.

Eggplant Rhyme Time

It assaults my ears with sound unmatched to name;

not an egg and not a plant-- who, for this, will take the blame?

It totally offends my sight with hue of purple bright.

Its untidy, pear-like shape is nothing like the friendly grape.

It attacks the taste buds inside my mouth,

with a flavor that has just moved south.

What about a poem describing a food that has left an impression on you? It's fun to play with the landscape of the stanzas.

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