In an effort to shake off some COVID/isolation/postcancer healing blues, I took myself across town to the beach for a run through the fog. On the way home I detoured via the wonderful Adelaide central market to pick up some ingredients I was missing from my asian pantry. Wandering through shelf after shelf of food product I settled on a couple of items to make a Dashi ( Japanese) stock and having discussed Phu Quoc (Vietnam Fish Sauce ) with the shop owner made my way out to the market plaza. I was feeling pleased with my efforts in participating in some exotic conversation and inspiration so I went looking for soup or coffee in the heart of the market.
I had not been into the market for some time and I was comforted that it was as I remembered and with some great additions in the coffee department. One such stall was Le Souk where I purchased a takeaway coffee. Whilst waiting, I was offered a large fresh date complete with stem. Normally I would be very happy with this (I love dates), I have a bit of a thing for exotic men too but thats’ another story, I was holding this fresh date much like you’d hold a mouse by the tail wondering what on earth I was going to do with it. In case you are reading my blog / story for the first time, I am a head and neck cancer survivor and eating, swallowing anything is pretty difficult for me at best of times (radiation, surgery, bits of my tongue missing that sort of thing) let alone a large sticky fresh date and in public. The last time I did anything with a large fresh sticky date was when I was actually on a date with a Brazilian and that didn’t end well.
I was unabashed as I gingerly nibbled and removed some flesh, allowing the sweet stickiness to cover my tongue and teeth. As a “necker” ( I like to call myself), you soon learn that you never have quite enough saliva to keep your mouth wet or your teeth clean. That aside, I didn’t let it deter me and was grateful to have a saucer for disposing of the large seed. The coffee arrived ( it was excellent) and I had enough time to swallow that small morsel before flashing him my pearly whites.
Le Souk is French Algerian for “The Market” and, as explained on their website they specialise in innovative Algerian food. Given the direction of The Food Manifesto I think you can expect to see some dysphagia dishes coming from that part of the world in the not too distant future. Dishes that include fresh dates & the use of my beautiful Tagine you can be assured of that.