Monday, April 28, 2008

A Brief History of Arugula

For those of you wishing to avoid the tags of "limousine liberal" or "latte drinking leftist" or what have you, there are numerous pitfalls in the food and beverage world. Apparently, should you hope to not be lumped in with the "lift your pinkie whilst drinking tea" crowd, you need to add arugula to your list of right wing vulnerability targets. Just ask Ezra Klein.
When did arugula become the new latte? Newsweek is using it as the counterpoint to beer (which, though drunk by hipsters and sold in Trader Joe's, apparently denotes blue collar cred), but does that register with folks? Arugula just looks like...lettuce. I couldn't even identify it offhand. Sushi, frappucinos, "SmartWater" -- all that I could see. But a sort of obscure salad ingredient? That's a more advanced degree in in yuppie than even I have.

Here's what I know about arugula. It doesn't have any double letters in it. (Or so my spell checker tells me.) I'm not sure if I've ever had it. Yet, I've voted for several Democrats over the years, and a number of Republicans, mixed in with various third party candidates and cartoon characters. I kind of like American Prospect commenter Mark F's conundrum.
I live in Worcester, MA. About as blue collar and non-elitist as you get. I had a turkey buger with arugula for lunch on Saturday. To drink I had two Narragansett tall boys. WHO DO I VOTE FOR?

Here's something more official, from your friends at wikipedia.
also known as arugula or rocket, is an edible plant. It is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Jordan and Turkey.[1][2] It is closely related to Eruca vesicaria and included by some botanists in that either as a subspecies E. vesicaria subsp. sativa[3] or not distinguished at all;[4] it can be distinguished from E. vesicaria by its early deciduous sepals.[3]

Now I feel better. Doesn't sound like anything I'd put in my beer.

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