Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Asexual Lifestyle of Cultivated Garlic

As a title, "The Asexual Lifestyle of Cultivated Garlic" has a lot going for it.

It is relatively short and to the point. Contrast this with many Victorian-era titles, which often go overboard explaining what the work is about. My subtitle to the earlier post "Puree" was pretty much a riff on these titles. I've always been a fan of short, sharp, shock titles (being of the Chaos UK literary school ... I lie here. There is no such school, literary or otherwise.) In my own writing I often use one-word titles.

It grabs your attention, mainly due to ...

It sounds a little rude. I mean, the word "sex" is right up there front and center. Never mind that the context is asexual plant reproduction. The word jumps out at people.

It is a bit surreal. Seeing the title, most will assume I am not really talking about garlic, sex or no sex. There has to be a literary term for this kind of misderection; I feel no shame in not actually knowing that term. Think Zen koan here. But enough tree-hugging hippy crap for today.

The one area this title really falls down, though, is in having anything to do with the actual blog entry here. Although I have just spent most of this entry talking about it. This is the kind of thing that short-circuits robots.

What I really wanted to say, before getting off on a tangent, was "DUH!"

I have mentioned before looking for pre-chilli 'heat' in Asian and African cuisines. Black pepper was undoubtedly important (I was overly dismissive of it earlier), but I couldn't think of other bases for fiery cuisine.

Ginger. Duh.

And after slapping my head, mustard, I thought,

I still haven't found a definitive source on these cuisines before chilli peppers. But I have a much clearer grasp on the possibilities now.

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