So last weekend, still in the grip of my emotional maelstrom, and made reckless by a clutch of last month's unused food vouchers* I went a little wild and experimental in the bio-food emporium owned by the 7th Day Adventists (closed on Saturdays - it's very disconcerting. No trading on Sundays is still the norm here for smaller shops).
I should probably add that as a tree-hugging, muesli-crunching, hemp-sandal-wearing herbivore I am a regular patron of this and other bio-shops. It's just that I normally confine my purchases to things I recognise and know how to cook. You know where you are with tofu - it's not usually going to do anything more vicious than wobble alarmingly and take on lurid hues when it's past the sell-by date. And green leafy stuff is pretty much universally manageable.
But all those little bags of dried things can be a little intimidating, and most of the powdered stuff comes hand-labelled with vocabulary that doesn't feature in my "Czech Step-by-Step". They frown on the sniff test in there, too.
However, novelty is a many-splendoured thing, and last Sunday the "novinky" section was filled to the bursting with little (recycled) plastic pots of crackery-biscuitty type things. So after much deliberation I picked up box of "orange-lemon-ginger flax rolls". Sounds yummy. Mmmmm…
Luckily, as a small child I used to eat paper, so the principal texture and flavour didn't come as a total shock. And then, the flax seeds added a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole chewing experience which can only be described as "mucilage". (Is that a word? I have done that thing with soaked flaxseeds as a substitute for egg whites but was never very convinced by it.)
But I did learn the Czech for "Slowly dehydrated at 48 degrees centigrade for several hours to preserve health and vitality." And this made me realise that rather than delighting in biscuitty-goodness itself, I was basically eating the mummified husks of biscuits. The only thing is that I'm not sure if they're meant to reincarnate of their own accord or if I need to stand under a pyramid holding a razor and a dead mouse first. Pass the natron.
*Is this a Czech thing? Because pretty much every company here seems to pay a small fraction of your salary in food vouchers. Just like luncheon vouchers, but they're far more widely accepted, and you can use them in most restaurants, cafés and even supermarkets… Rules and checkout ladies permitting