It’s fair to say that New American Cuisine was based on charismatic goat cheese.
It is served warm, with a flourish of baby lettuces and rolled in fruitwood ash and floated upon sea-green virgin oil. It is sliced into medallions and garnished with nasturtium petals. It is topping fancy pizzas. It’s crumbled into pricey salads and mounded onto crisp baguette slices to accompany ultra-cool chardonnays and fumé blancs.
How odd it is that we swoon over this creamy, tangy cheese yet curl our lip at the notion of eating the meat of goat from whence it comes.
I’ve been wondering if the problem lies with the goat beards that are known as goatees?
We have always been suspicious of beards, on account of their connection with intellectuals and other dangerous left-wing subversives.
Another clue to our disdain may stem from saddling them with the name “Billy Goat” and calling their offspring “Billy the Kid.”
Billy – and Tom – as in Tom Cat, implies a tendency toward night prowling and the kind of lascivious behavior that leads to such wanton tendencies as begetting.
Naturally, thoughts about ‘right and wrong’ made me think the image problem might have something to do with goat’s hooves, which you will have noticed, are cloven. This anatomical anomaly, coupled with the dreaded horns mounted on their heads, leads to worrisome comparison with the Devil, the Greek goat god Pan, satyrs and yet other symbols of bawdy naughtiness, that have largely fallen from favor in the current climate if modified Puritanism.
And, of course, we all remember the Bible’s forecast of the Last Judgment, during which we will be separated into sheep and goats, and receive our long-term assignments accordingly.
The probable origin of the phrase, “getting our goat,” is the French expression prendre le chèvre, meaning, “to take the milch goat,” which could well be a poor person’s sole source of food or livelihood.
Today the goat association would prefer we cease to think of a goat as a disagreeable small, horned ruminant animal and instead come to regard it in astrological terms as it pertains to the constellation of Capricorn.
Even so, I am pretty much convinced that goat meat could provide us with another fabulous fad to distract us from the hard economic times that threaten to engulf us.
The young superstar chefs are rapidly approaching middle age and urgently need to come up with something fresh to capture our attention. They could offer us roasted goat with octopus salad or maybe fricassee of stir-fried goat haunch with smoky chipotle and Armagnac-infused dried plums–formerly known as prunes–or even goat tortellini with lemon grass and rhubarb crumble.
The possibilities are infinite. Imagine if the nutritionists teemed up with the advertisers. Pretty soon we would be urged to have ‘an oat with our goat’! And there is plenty of work for farm-to-table birthers, rearers, milkers and artisanal goat cheese makers too.
As I was thinking about goats, I had quite forgotten that goats are also the source of MOhaiR and CASH$mere, our softest, costliest wools. We could consider combining the MO R with the CASH. When this item appeared on the menu, we would cry out with one voice:
“What we want is MO—R CASH!”