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May 31, 2005

Borkies: The Easiest Catch

The most fascinating thing about the latest gadget I have, Google Earth Plus, is finding out how sparsely populated the planet is.

If you spin the globe and point your finger, chances are that you're going to land in the ocean, a good place to find nothing. Having watched the marathon of 'The Deadliest Catch' in which 210 boats brave the treacherous Bering Sea for a few days to bring a couple million pounds of crab back, it makes me wonder what might be found in the middle of the Pacific. I have no idea of knowing how and where fishermen drop their nets and traps worldwide, but my newfound gut is telling me that there's a lot more fish out there. It seems more likely to me that we're cherry picking what we know how to cook, but that were we to develop a taste for octopus, we'd worry less about the sustainability of the world's fisheries.

In the sci-fi book I thought I might work on in the Biome category, I came up with the concept called 'borkies'. Borkies are just small bits of fish, generally squid, which are seasoned in such a way as to be individually delicious. As part of your highschool education, you are 'taste-tested' to see what your very favorite flavors are, and you cannot graduate until you learn how to prepare your own borkies. You then can exist in a semi-dependent, semi-independent way by purchasing or making your own borkies seasoning. Most people eat theirs with rice or noodles & broth in a bowl. People basically get addicted to what's good for them.

Squid borkies were chosen because I've heard that squid are some of the easiest marine protien to mass-produce. They eat anything and they're easy to catch or farm. In the Biome, eating your borkies is one of the basic tenets of civilization.

Here in Los Angeles, a great deal is artificial. We're in a desert, after all. So gazing at Google Earth, I am drawn to places with rivers and deltas and lakes. I watch towns which were established and grown in the eras of river travel, train travel, automobile travel. I look for the docks, the stations, the interchanges that shape the physical city. Los Angeles would adopt to borkies because we are accustomed to, and welcolming of the external, the import. We are integrative and dependent. We would know how to cook our borkies.

I think mine would be squid with wheat udon in broth. Warm and spicy with a bit of egg.

Posted by mbowen at May 31, 2005 08:02 AM

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So THAT is what is in my McNugget!

Posted by: Matt at May 31, 2005 02:43 PM