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Omnivore - When men were men and dogs were tasty

Culinary secrets of Lewis and Clark

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My friend Andrew Sutter, the former server, has turned into a prolific blogger. He's been writing about Native American culture on his Amicus Curiositatis blog. His most recent post is "a short history of dog eating in North America."

Native Americans, he writes, taught members of the Lewis and Clark expedition the joy of cooking dog meat. Andrew wraps up his post with this story from Clark's journal:

Apparently as the expedition made its way homeward with its newly adopted appetite for the dog, some of the tribes they encountered - while often accommodating in the commercial sense -were not entirely impressed in the cultural sense. Writes Clark on May 5th, 1806:

While at dinner an indian fellow very impertinently threw a half starved puppy into the plate of Capt. Lewis by way of derision for our eating dogs and laughed very hartily at his own impertinence; Capt. L. — was so provoked at the insolence that he cought the puppy and threw it with great violence at him and struck him in the breast and face, seazed his tomahawk, and shewed him by sign that if he repeated his insolence that he would tomahawk him, the fellow withdrew apparently mortified and we continued our Dinner without further molestation.

The post reminded me when, years ago, I took a friend to his first Korean meal at a restaurant on Buford Highway. He made nervous anticipatory comments about eating dogs and cats. I laughed and told him he had no reason to worry.

However, as soon as we sat down, a server sped to our table and blurted: "You like cat?"

My friend and I looked at one another in horror.

"Um, no, " I said. "We aren't here to eat cat. Or dogs."

"Eat cat?" she repeated. "I have cat that needs new home!"

We laughed but my friend scrutinized every forkful of food for feline evidence and, as far as I know, has never returned to a Korean restaurant.

Anyway, check out Andrew's blog. (He has another entitled "The Social Design.")