I have a theory. (I have lots of theories, among my favourites are that you can’t have too many pairs of scissors, and that all men appear somewhere on the autistic spectrum.)
But those are topics for another day.
My theory today is about cultural diversity: not understanding one another. Forget religion being one of the main causes for societies not understanding each other, possibly even fighting.
I believe that however open one is to cultural differences, puddings, as we British call them, are one of the great stumbling blocks to truly embracing and understanding other cultures.
My sister in law chose an ice lolly while we were out sightseeing in Thailand. “Careful” I called from my cool spot under the fan, “there are some funny flavours here.”
“It looks interesting” she said. “like a bean.”
“Soya beans are used in an impressive array of different dishes here. And the green things aren’t mint; they’re green tea flavoured things.”
Sister-in-law came and sat down next to me. “Mmmm, interesting: not soya bean then” I said on examination of the packet. “What does it taste like?”
“Uhhm, interesting. Do you want a bite?”
I sucked on my full fat coke. “No, thanks, I think it looks like red kidney bean flavour.”
She gave another large bite, as though she was trying to get through the experience as quickly as possible. This is NOT how I eat Almond Magnums; there was definitely something not quite right.
“Okay, no, that’s enough” she said, wrapping it, half consumed, back up in its paper, “it’s definitely red kidney bean flavour.”
When we returned home I had a look in our Thai/English cook book. And these were the array of puddings I could learn to make:
Mungbeans in Syrup
Pumpkin in Coconut Cream
Sweetcorn Pudding with Coconut Cream
Black Beans in Coconut Cream
Mungbean Balls in Coconut Cream
Mungbean Strands in Coconut Syrup
Mock Pomegranate Seeds
Candid Sweet Potato
Sweet Potatoes in Syrup
Like I say, puddings (sweets, afters, call them what you will) are an impediment to world peace.