“Whose bag is this?”
I had to have seen this coming. It’s not every day the TSA sees a filet dry-curing in salt and sugar go through the X-ray machine, even in New York’s Kennedy Airport.
“It’s mine.” The man motioned me over to a booth, and I readied myself for the third degree.
“What is this?”
“It’s some food I’m bringing down to some friends.”
“Is it cooked?” What the hell was up with this guy? I was pretty sure I wasn’t breaking any sort of air travel regulations, but he sure had a lot of questions.
“And what’s that around it?”
“Salt and sugar.”
“So you just put salt and sugar and leave it in there?”
“Yes… well, you can put some spices in too; I put in some rosemary.” I thought I was going to be interviewed for security; in fact, I was getting grilled for secret recipes.
“And then you cook it?”
“No, you just cure it. It’s like a salami, except instead of the leftover bits of the cow, you use the tenderloin, so it’s ridiculously good.”
“What do you do after that?”
“You take the salt and sugar off.”
“And then you cook it, right?”
“No. It’s like a salami. You just eat it.”
“Oh, cool. I’m going to try that.” And he waved me on.
Which is a good thing. Because if we as a people can’t share fancy cured meat with our friends in Florida, then they win.