Instant is good. Nobody likes to wait. There are places to go, people to see, fungus cakes to eat. Natural is good, too. Lots of things are natural, like trees, fresh air, cats, swamp gas, tornadoes, getting struck by lightning, and malaria. Jellyfish are also natural. They swim around in the ocean, doing whatever it is that jellyfish do. Well, they don’t really swim so much as sort of pulsate. And what they do seems to consist primarily of being clear and slimy.
One fateful day, someone saw a bunch of clear, slimy jellyfish pulsating in the ocean and exclaimed, “those look tasty!” So they did what anyone would do in that situation: they put them in a pouch, added packets of spice, sesame oil, and hot peppers, and shipped them to the local ethnic food store.
I had my doubts about this at first, since I never thought of jellyfish as being something edible. I was never really even clear as to what jellyfish are made of. They don’t seem to have muscles, or skin, or bones, or brains. They’re just clear and slimy. Fortunately the package anticipated my concerns, and as you can see, it assured me that this was OK! Now that I knew it was OK (not to mention 100%), the only thing left to do was open the pouch and discover this delicacy.
After adding the spices and oils to the tangle of tentacles, I took a bite and everything was instantly clear: jellyfish are made of raw cabbage! I was expecting something slimy and chewy, but in fact, it was very crunchy and almost tasteless. At least it was tasteless for a few moments, until the hot pepper kicked in. That stuff is really hot. In fact, it’s so hot that it once caused someone to compose a spontaneous poem:
Empty contents of pouch into a small dish,
Stir in spices and oil to taste.
Add carrots and peppers if you wish,
To the Instant Natural Jellyfish.
Close your eyes, and hold on tight.
The fork slowly raise to your mouth.
Cautiously sample the very first bite,
And exclaim to yourself, “this isn’t right!”
The crunchy texture you can savor,
Like kimchi or some sauerkraut.
But then your thoughts might begin to waver,
As you think about this subtle flavor.
These stringy bits covered with spice,
Came not from the ground, not from a tree.
Though they may in fact seem very nice,
They were caught from the sea (think of that twice!)
You’ll never forget, as much as you wish
To put out of your mind the simple truth:
The stuff you just ate from that small dish?
It was Instant Natural Jellyfish!
I’m OK. Really.