Who knew that a dash of salt, a splash of water and a dose of sulfites are all it takes to place a head of mustard greens in a state of shrink-wrapped suspended animation? Not me. And after sampling Roxy Trading Inc. Salted Mustard Green, I know I was getting along just fine without that morsel of information, thank you.
Pea green and rubbery, the Salted Mustard Green gives up its preservation secrets without a fight. But the greater mystery namely, why would anyone in their right mind eat this stuff? remains unresolved.
Oh sure, I can imagine that if the doping allegations against Tour de France winner Floyd Landis turn out to be false, I might go on a hunger strike, protesting both the dirtiness of some professional athletes and the globe's pan-sport witch-hunt. This would inevitably force me to lose what cognitive powers I yet retain, give up the 9-to-5 and devote my energies to becoming the perfect cycling machine, subsisting solely on the scent of burning sage and the occasional droplet of sweat that dribbles from the "Live to Ride/Ride to Live" bandanna swaddled around my head. Bouncing down the social ladder, I'd hold a series of odd jobs, spit-shining the stars along Delmar Boulevard, for instance, or squeegeeing the windshields of passing cars. Because this is St. Louis, a thuglet would inevitably steal my bike, stripping me not only of my raison d'être, but also reducing me to squatting on the second floor of an abandoned apartment building off Shaw Boulevard with a pack of feral dogs. Broke, starving and unclear on my hunger strike's original purpose, I would pick at a few tendons that still cling to a thigh bone the dogs have discarded only to have it snatched away by a snarling Italian greyhound. In my blind misery, I'd grope about the inky shadows in search of food.
If at that moment I happened upon a package of Roxy Trading Inc. Salted Mustard Green, I just might eat it. But as a food item to be purchased at a grocery store? No way.
To be fair, Roxy Trading Inc. Salted Mustard Green is an ingredient, not a meal. That doesn't change the fact that cutting open a bag of the stuff smells a little like bursting headlong into an oil refinery. Only the Salted Mustard Green comes with an additional hazard: Eventually you'll have to devour your olfactory nemesis. Also, this tire-like matter is salty (640 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon), and lest you want the tips of your fingers to prune on contact, I'd suggest donning a pair of latex gloves.
But eventually the rubber has to hit the road, so to speak. And so, ripping the heart from the mustard green head, I dine. My tongue recoils. My eyes swell with tears and blood rushes to my head. It's a compost's putrescent heart of darkness.
It's awful. Still, I hope Landis tests clean.