Friday, December 01, 2006

Bacon links

So the Accidental Hedonist is posting about bacon now, so I have to chime in.

When I was in Ann Arbor, I ate at Pizzeria Uno's two or three times. (What's with the obligatory apostrophe-S on restaurants? I find it gringoriffic.) Usually I ordered something called the Spinaccoli, because spinach and broccoli are good on pizza, even to this carnivore.

Once, when I was particularly homesick, I called them up to order a Hawaiian pizza. For those of you who are not blessed to be from the Washington, a Hawaiian pizza to us means Canadian bacon and pineapple. However a Google Images search and a Wikipedia article seems to indicate that the use of Canadian bacon is not universal. Here in Washington, it's always Canadian bacon and pineapple.

Yes, I know many of you out there who cry blasphemy putting fruit on pizza. You should email someone about that.

Anyway, I was homesick in Ann Arbor, and I thought a good old fashioned Hawaiian pizza would be comforting. So I called them up, and they had never heard of a Hawaiian pizza.

The difference in Pacific Northwest English and Midwestern English is not apparent to others, but to me the difference is huge, usually in vowels. But we also have different lexical items (i.e., parking garage vs. parking 'structure'), and most shocking to me at least were the variation of cultural artifacts. For example, people who live east of Montana have never seen or heard of a maple bar, that gross bloated fried raft with a maple glaze.

Hawaiian pizza is another one of these cultural artifacts that was unknown to the guy I was ordering pizza from. No problem, I'm a linguist, I will circumlocute.

"I want a regular cheese pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple."

"Um..., we have pineapple...."

"And do you have Canadian bacon?"

"Um..., we have bacon, I don't know if it's from Canada..."

First of all, my name is not 'um.' "Listen, do you have ham?"

"Um..., yah, we have ham..."

"Ok, I want you to make me a regular cheese pizza with ham and pineapple."

(Skeptical) "Um... ok, one pizza with ham and pineapple..."

So apparently these people don't say "Canadian bacon." They might well have called it something else, but I didn't stick around long enough to find out. I wanted out of that flat, bland, creepy town that white people seem to adore.

They don't know about Canadian bacon. They don't know about maple bars. They certainly don't know about espresso.

To be fair, they did have something I had never heard of, a "yeast ring." Or even a "chocolate yeast ring." It's a kind of doughnut, that to me sounds itchy. To me a yeast ring looks like this:

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