Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kabul: Sanitized Chicken

Through the Embassy's "concierge service" it is possible to order fruits, vegetables, meats, and other grocery items for delivery to the Embassy.  Since most employees are not allowed to leave the compound, except periodically for official meetings, this service can be a life saver.

As I was looking over the order form for meat one day, something caught my eye: A product called "sanitized chicken" was available.

I like my chicken juicy... and sanitized.

Naturally, I thought this was curious, and after I posted a picture of the meat list on facebook, it was clear that others were equally interested to know more of this sanitized chicken.

I asked the woman at the concierge desk about it.

"I don't know what it is," she told me.  "It's an American thing."

Being an American myself, I didn't find her explanation to be very helpful.

I kept the chicken question in my mind, however, and whenever I'd pass the desk, I'd glance to see who was on duty.  There was no point in asking the woman again.

A few days after my initial approach, a man was working the counter.

"Can you tell me what sanitized chicken is?" I asked.

"It's your choice, sir," he replied.  "You can have wings, legs..."

"I'm not asking about the cut," I interrupted.  "What makes it sanitized?"

"I don't know," he replied.  "It's an American thing."

Seriously, people?  I was starting to think maybe I'd been overseas too long because I had no clue about this new American craze of sanitized chicken.

Having struck out twice, I noticed a different guy working the concierge desk a few days later.  I was hoping the third time was the charm.

"About this sanitized chicken," I started.  "We don't have that in America. What is it?"

Wisely not wanting to get involved, the clerk passed the buck.

"I think it's best if you talk to my supervisor," he told me.

I was game, so he dialed his boss and handed me the phone.

Still not expecting any resolution, I repeated the same old question yet again: "What is sanitized chicken?"

The man didn't miss a beat.

"It comes from Sri Lanka," he explained. "It's cleaned, cut, frozen, and plastic-wrapped."

In short, sanitized chicken is frozen Sri Lankan supermarket chicken.

Now why didn't I think of that.

1 comment:

Wallyworld said...

Yes Chris, why didn't you think of that? After all, it is an "American thing". Good to see you are settling in with usual good humour and inquisitiveness that has served you well in other places around the world. Stay safe. Andrew