Monday, March 22, 2010

#12: Carbohydrates

Villainized by Robert Atkins and countless local TV morning shows, the carbohydrate was a food item that prior to the advent of the aughts was practically unheard of, much like tilapia in the '90s and the Jews in the '30s. But unlike tilapia, it soon became the scapegoat for a nation in unrest. As waistlines expanded, the calls for answers from parents' groups and Tony Little grew more shrill. The carb's time had come.

Soon, they were rounded up and isolated or altogether eradicated on the menus of American gastronomical bastions like TGI Friday's in favor of new dishes like the "Chicken La Boca" (from the Boca region of France). Suddenly burgers went without buns. Corndogs without the cornbread condom. And the yeast infection was but a whisper.

It made for uncomfortable discussions around the family dinner table.

"Father, Billy O'Connor was talking about carbs in Ms. Johnson's class at school. What is a carb?"
"Billy means carbohydrates. Carb is their street name."

"Well what is it?"

"Well you know what HIV is, right?"

"Well, sure. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus."

"That's right. It's just like that but for sandwiches."

So it was. Much like the condor and the virgin, the carbohydrate was nearly extinct by the aughts' close. But for the onset of the transfat in 2006, the carbohydrate might have only been read on the menus of blogs like this one.

1 comment: