The title poem which is both the poem and its own title comes out of a conversation with an Anglophone nomad passing through Montevideo. The fellow had been eating a lot of ham sandwiches, and made a number of other new arrival mistakes trying to eat inexpensively in Montevideo by eating in a manner cheap in much the rest of the world. This lead to a meet up centered around walking Tienda Inglesa on Sunday afternoon and discussing lessons learned feeding myself and the local peculiarities.
Ham is a scam
Now there are many good reasons to eat ham, all of them involve ham being what you want to eat. However in Uruguay while pork is cheaper than beef, after the pork is transformed into ham they get mighty proud of it. Even the fucking square US-style lunchmeat salt ham runs 300 to 500 pesos a kilo, but deli counter practice is showing the price for 100 grams when it comes to fiambres. Then there's the imported Spanish and Spanish style cured hams which are outside of the staple protein discussion.
Now over in raw meat land 1 kg of ground beef is 189 pesos, lean ground beef a bit more, and fucking entrecot can be had for 315-325 pesos per kilo. The local favorite "Asado de tira"1 can do anywhere from 170 pesos to 500 pesos per kilogram depending on the bone to meat ratio.
Little business and a lot of Uruguay was discussed. Maybe the fellow makes a key and joins the future?
As to my own dietary habits, during the days Gloria the Peruana isn't here to work the kitchen I have accumulated a lot of practice making burgers. Of course the method of doing so popular with the locals is acquiring frozen preformed and preseasoned patties for a permium over over the cost of ground beef in a situation very reminescent of the scam ham. This local norm means they buy less meat for more money which will require more cooking energy to render edible all because the package looks so much more convenient.
- Beef ribs cut so that you have a strip of connective tissue with a lot of connective tissue and some variable amount of meat. [↩]