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Friday, November 29, 2013

How Green Was My Cabbage

I saw this interesting photo on Twitter a couple of days ago, posted originally (I believe) by @Kir_Lu_V (どらべガス )

Now, if I can get a handle on the situation, it appears that within the photo, someone was attempting to cut a cabbage with a knife, and the cabbage won.

The original tweet was in Japanese:
ほこ×たて! 100円キャベツ(茨城県産)VS 100円包丁(中国産)

The caption essentially reads:

"Fresh cabbage from Ibaraki-ken - ¥100 versus the ¥100 kitchen knife from China."

Obviously… a poke at Chinese product quality. ¥100 is about US/Canadian $1.

But, what I find more interesting than the hard head of the Ibaraki-ken cabbage, is the fact that someone in Japan has Chinese-made products.

With all the brou-ha-ha surrounding China's incursions into Japan's territory over a bunch of southern islands few people have ever set foot on, but because of it's proximity to China and Japan proper, each is now laying claim to as a means to not only extend their territorial boundaries, but to provide either an extended protective shell or extended place from with to keep closer tabs on the other.

I'm not here to judge.  I understand. But… going to war in the 21st century? That's barbaric. Let land ownership be what land ownership is… why continue to kill for it?

We're not savages in a war with sticks or stones or knives… or if we are, then Japan has a pretty good shot against China and their knives…

It's also good to know that while Japanese cabbages will no longer suffer defeat at the hands of the communist Chinese... but sadly the Japanese all will die of starvation as they will find that chopsticks are a lousy way to cut raw foods like cabbage.

A ¥100 knife? Forget about where it was made! You get what you pay for.

By that same token, at a no-name dollar store, my wife recently purchased a toiletries kit… it came with tweezers, a nail file or two and small set of scissors… something I was really looking forward to utilizing as I wanted to ensure my eyebrows (plural) maintained their sexy shape and length…. but, after shelling out the dollar coin, which is the equivalent of ¥100, we found that the tweezers don't tweeze, the nail files tend to deliver 'metal' nail file shavings onto our fingers, and the scissors… the scissors don't open.

Who the fug makes scissors that don't scissor? Where the hell is QA (quality assurance) in China? Yes, China manufactured these decorative toiletry items that are, indeed, fit for the toilet.

Yes… you get what you pay for… but did you know that a so-called 'legitimate' set of small scissors (one) for personal care can be purchased for a mere $24 here in Canada? Of course… there is no way in hell that these Chinese-made scissors can be worth 24x the one's I got at the dollar store?! I mean, sure… these one's work… dammit… so I guess they are infinitely better than the one's we bought with my hard-earned cash.

And Japan... a mere ¥100 ($1) a cabbage head? It's not one of those radioactive cabbage heads with the extra set of arms, is it? (What? This blog IS a comedy blog today.) In the north of Canada, Arctic Bay, that cabbage will cost $28.54, though here in Toronto you can get it for about $1.99… still twice the price in Japan…

So… here in Toronto, I could use my $24 scissors or shell out $40 for a decent knife to cut my $2 cabbage and assume that it will do so safely, quickly and easily.

Japan… relax… for all of the cost savings you gain from buying cabbage, you should be able to purchase a better knife. I think that's how economics works. Or is that how you return an overdue library book? Whatever.

And... for the record... you will notice that the actual knife blade in the photo above is rusted... so... we can assume that the cook doesn't care about rust in his or her food, and that they have not taken proper care of their cooking utensils.

Perhaps the broken handle is due to improper handling over time by the cook? I hesitate to use the word 'cook', because no cook worth his or her salt would be caught dead using a ¥100 knife. 

I love the photo, though.

But here's some friendly cooking advice from myself - who was once a professional cook in Japan (Once) (Really): next time you are preparing a head of cabbage, make sure you remove the skull before cutting into it. 
Andrew Joseph
PS: In case you were wondering, I adapted this blog's title from the 1941 flick "How Green Was My Valley",  directed by John Ford, which was of course based on the 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn.
PPS:, I, of course, first saw the title from a 1964 Uncle Scrooge comic book entitled "How Green Was My Lettuce." 
PPPS: I'll be back tomorrow with "Andrew Saves the World" or whatever we want to call how I inspired people without me realizing at the time that I was doing so.
PPPPS: I ate Chinese food while writing this. No knives were hurt during the making of this blog. Except the one in the photo. So I guess a knife was hurt during the making of the blog. I also split a pair of wooden chopsticks while I ate my meal. 

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