Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by tasting you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. — Romans 12:2
Be sober-minded; be watchful; be wise as the swine. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. — Peter 5:8
The thinking part of the pig floats on a bed of beansprouts before me. Steam rises from the yellow coils of its cerebral cortex. I lower my spoon and it yields swiftly to its touch. O soft, soft mind, velveteen and smooth! This must have been a willing, generous sort of pig while it lived. I place a little of its left hemisphere on my tongue, leaving its hopes, dreams, ideas and inventions in the broth. It’s a little like eating egg curd, or a savoury blancmange. Its taste is neutral — perhaps the swine was Swiss — with a vague, metallic or light citrus taste on the back of the tongue. This must be the flavour of language, the taste of its speech.
‘Squee’ whispered the pig in my brain. ‘Be not of unclean cloth. Bringeth me thy pearls and I shall not tread upon them, for my cloven-hooves are divine. Yay but never shall you eat the cretinous flesh of the fowl, for it is unclean. But eat of me in remembrance of me’. And I did reply to the animal. Lo and I did say ‘I will carry your pig-headed words to humanity’. — Phillip 9:11
Only be sure that you eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall eat the life with the flesh. — Deuteronomy 12:23
It’s cartoonishly bright, like red paint, filled with gristly flecks of pork, and topped with crushed peanuts. Yet, despite all the promises of flavour its colour makes, it tastes of very little. Rather you taste everything but the blood; the nuts, the lime, the sweet basil leaves, or the horrible dried chilli flakes (should you choose to desecrate your blood with them). Yet you do taste the blood. You taste it in the copper tang you expected to receive on your tongue but experience only in your mind. And you feel absurdly afraid, as if you’re about to be punched in the mouth by an invisible assailant.
Lo and a cloud of fear did descend upon the people and they did cast their eyes about in desperation. They beseeched the darkening sky for they knew not what they had done. They did tear their hair and gnash their teeth in confusion. The sky rained words upon their heads. ‘You have sinned’ it said. And the people wept and they did open their veins and let their blood upon the soil, and the sky was well pleased. — Phillip 7:9
The Holy Spirit
He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. — Acts 7:19
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. — Jeremiah 1:5
It doesn’t look good, the near future I mean, if I have to eat this. Brown veins creep like tree roots across the pale, enlarged yolk. Then there is a bony carapace-thing; a completely inedible hard lump with some sort of visor hanging off of it. Beside this is the soft white part, containing shreds of flesh, fledgling eyeball, blueish tubing, small tendrils of what might have in the future become feathers, and a tiny, wet, clawed foot; the ghost of The Little Duck That Never Was.
You eat it with slivers of ginger, salt and rau dam. It tastes of egg and sadness. So you don’t eat it. You stare into the middle distance and imagine that this could be comforting for people who ask no questions of their food, who don’t think about it too much.
Look not upon the deceiving angel for his light will blind you. He holds the fall of nations in his beak. Lo and he wears many disguises so be thou on thy guard - for he could be anywhere; even in you. Look thus upon nothing. Just to be on the safe side. — Phillip 9:39
Happy Easter everyone!
The Gory Details
Brain (Oc Hap)
VND25,000 per brain per bowl at Hien’s, 463 De La Thanh, Dong Da
Blood (Tiet Canh)
VND10,000 per bowl on the corner of Lo Su and Hoi Vu, Hoan Kiem
Trung Vit Lon
VND7,000 per egg on Luong Dinh Cua, Dong Da