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Food– the fuel that keeps us going, the vital provision for our existence, the basis of a number of fairy tales and a frequent topic of office conversation. We all have different tastes in food – many like to experiment with international cuisines.
But what is that one particular food that we can’t seem to get enough of?
What food is produced in 600 different types and shapes and dominates our dinner tables at least twice a week?
Pasta, according to an Oxfam survey, is the number one global food people seem to be indulging in the most. The survey, conducted in 17 different countries including Brazil, South Africa and the Philippines, showed that pasta is the most popular food not just in Europe but across the globe followed by meat, rice and pizza.
The top consumer of pasta, as you might have guessed, is Italy where they consume 26Kg of pasta per head per year, followed by Venezuela and Tunisia, with 12Kg and 11.7Kg respectively.
According to Jim Winship from the UK-based Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association, pasta became so popular because it is quite ‘cheap, versatile and convenient’. It is food which is easy and fast to cook and you can make a pretty good meal out of it just by adding any sauce of your choice.
If you could choose just one meal to eat before facing death, what would it be?
Interestingly, when I put the question to my colleagues at Sunday Circle one request kept resurfacing: fish.
From lobster to salmon, and from caviar to sushi and a mixed sea food platter, my colleagues weren’t skimping on their last dish.
It would appear that the very qualities that normally make pasta so popular: its quick, convenient and inexpensive nature – are precisely the qualities that make it less popular as a last meal.
For that people seem to want something luxurious, something expensive and requiring great skill and time to prepare (although many chefs will tell you a real pasta dish requires just as much deftness).
But would they still feel that way if it came down to the crunch?
Huffington Post’s Famous Death Row Last Meals provides an interesting insight into what people chose when they were forced to make the decision for real.
While some inmates asked for things like lobster tails, filet mignon wrapped in bacon and similarly fancy fare – others requested far simpler things. One asked for chocolate chip ice cream, another requested fried fast food. One simply asked for a soft drink and crisps.
What leads a person to choose one dish over another? Is it that they find the food comforting? Do they choose something previously forbidden? Decadent?
What would your last meal be? Would you go for the exotic and special or the familiar and comforting?
If you’re after exotic, you might consider red ant chutney, boiled flamingo or one of the other options listed in our article counting down some of the weirdest food out there. Enjoy!