Thursday, April 16, 2009

allow me to introduce yourself to my friend, Jufran.

over the past 12ish years of my life, i have been making conscious, aggregating decisions about what exactly i put in my digestive system, or rather, to make the list a little shorter, what i do not send down the GI tract. it started with milk and my dad's choice to buy non dairy alternatives. (tho how a person can go from non fat cow milk to low fat rice milk without batting a taste bud is beyond me. that is the largest, unsmooth leap a newly realized lactose intolerant person can make. let me unsolicitously (um, the spell check didn't like this word and suggested 'incestuously' instead. . .) advice you that if you are making the change to non dairy, you best just give up the idea of ever having a refreshing glass of milk or gooey grilled cheese sammich, cuz non dairy alternatives are just that, alternatives - not straight up replacements. cheese especially. they can put a woman in an adult diaper and have her drive cross country but they cant make soy melt like a curdded lactate byproduct. so if you want a refreshing glass of non milk milk, go with enriched soy milk. once you get over the initial well, this isnt what i thought it was going to be, it's actually quite good. save the low fat rice milk for a few years down the road.) and then his option to opt out of red meat, then other meat, then fish. i followed suit, less out of compassionate conviction for los animales and more cuz well, that was what was in the house to eat and im hungry.  eventually, i learned more about animal rights/cruel food animal practices, environmental concerns, health issues (which is what prompted my father to start ixnaying meat and dairy in the first place), sustainability practices, local farming, etc etc etc. i went vegetarian late high school, hit veganism in college, road that bus for a while, then started eating local eggs, local goat cheese (them gots smaller sized proteins than regular milk, makes it ok on the estomago)(i first learned that fact, and others that have nothing to do with dairy, from reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. muchas gracias, mr robbins.) and the occasional fish. (tho, upon reviewing the current fish population to fish demand ratio, maybe i don't really need to eat them raw on rice wrapped in nori. . .maybs i will  leave my portion to someone who lives on an island and has no other option for protein intake. . .). 
and my diet keeps changing. mostly for the better. i try and make adjustments every year, eating less wheat, trying futilely to cut back on sugar, stop drinking any kind of soda. more recently i chose to eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup. pretty easy, despite it's unsettlingly ubiquitous presence in processed food.  mostly because i don't really eat processed foods in general. but i did find it some of my favorite ginger ale sodas. and in random bread products. and juice. all things that i could easily get myself to side step while roaming the aisles of the grocery store (come to think of it, i think the Co-Op doesn't actually carry anything with HFCS. . . that makes it a little easier). the one and only huge disappointment/blow to my diet came about two years ago when i was having a belated brunch at Crave (RIP) with my ex. mid conversation, i casually glanced over at the bottle of ketchup that stood next to my morning mimosa and it was like the little black type jumped out and bit me - high fructose corn syrup. what?! no!! i love ketchup! i had already slathered my eggs (yet another food habit i picked up from my dad) and potatoes with it, i had already downed the hatch several tablespoons worth. i love ketchup. sigh, oh well. i guess there is organic ketchup. but guess what? it's not the same! i've never liked healthy ketchup cuz it be missing the one ingredient that makes it taste authentically ketchuppy. . . 
i mourned the loss of this condiment for some time. that is, until if found Jufran. for those of you unfamiliar with the number one condiment in my world, allow me to introduce you. Jufran not only looks like ketchup, but it kinda tastes like it. or rather, the differences in flavor are such that you are so pleasantly distracted that you don't even remember missing ketchup in the first place. it is all the things ketchup never dreamed it could be therefore never was. it is like sweet, spicy ketchup. made of bananas. with a slightly more gelatinous consistency. that (oddly) needs no refrigeration. it comes from the same Philippino genius factory that invented Magic Mic. it is like $1.75 in stores in china town. it comes in mild and hot. it rules. on eggs. on potatoes. on chips. on plantains. on beans. on rice. it makes me think of wait, ketcup who? exactly. 
now if you will excuse me, i have a breakfast date with senora Jufran.
(blog's not letting me post a photo, but one is coming, rest assured)

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