Food Friday :- Craving Bacon!

Why is it that we crave for what we cannot have??

Be it a materialistic object. Be it a lost love. Be it an emotion or exhilarating sensation. Be it a type of food.

When I was in Israel and Jordan, my craving for Bacon came out of nowhere.

Well lucky me Jewish and Muslims does not eat pork, due to their religion and beliefs. So what’s a woman craving bacon to do?

I asked my Canadian friend’s whom I was to meetup with later on in Istanbul, Turkey to bring me Bacon!! Seriously – no joke! But when the craving starts, every day without it, is difficult. It wasn’t even like I had it all the time when I was in Canada – just occasionally.

Bacon delicious bacon

Bacon. Pork. Bacon.

For the few weeks I spent in Israel and Jordan, each time I walked into a grocery store or supermarket I hoped for the sight of bacon! No jokes.

But I was setting myself up for disappointment. Thats what happens to setting expectations. I spent a total of 5 weeks in Israel and Jordan. Only in the final week, when I had given up all hopes of finding bacon, was I able to satisfy my craving for bacon!!

My request was answered one fine evening in Tiberias, Israel. Out of curiosity I wandered into a small, neighborhood grocery store. It ends up being a shop that offers all things Russian! Including Bacon!!!

The insanely high costs deterred me a little but I knew I had to treat myself to a bit of bacon. That night when I got back to my hotel room, I happily sat down and savoured the delicious pieces of pork bacon. Sad that I felt like I was hiding in my room to eat something illegal or potentially offensive. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the taste and went into a Bacon stupor. haha

Smoked bacon found in Tiberias Israel to satisfy month long cravings

Smoked bacon found in Tiberias, Israel to satisfy month long cravings

Now that I think about it, this reminds me of the 3 type of languages which welcomed me to Israel inside Ben Gurion airport; Hebrew, English and Russian. At the time, I did not understand why Russian was the 3rd language at the airport. Then I found out that a substantial portion of the Israeli population are immigrants from Russia. How interesting to me – a goy.

Then when I arrived in Haifa, Israel, I almost bounced off the wall in excitment when I found several large scale Russian supermarkets while wandering the streets. To my amazement,  they had quite an impressive deli counter offering many deli meat derived from pork or pork with beef. I was shaking in excitement.

Pork for sale in Russian supermarket in Haifa Israel

Pork for sale in Russian supermarket in Haifa, Israel

Wide selection of deli meat in Russian grocery store in Haifa Israel

Wide selection of deli meat in Russian grocery store in Haifa, Israel

In hindsight, it was pretty sad but definitely a funny experience. To some degree it reinforces the occasional question “You have it so good in Canada with the diverse variety of food and culture – there’s no need to travel and be outside your comfort zone.”

But if I did not travel I would not have these funny experiences.

This experience also made me question why each religion have certain beliefs. It was enriching; mentally and physically – namely my tummy.

***

If you are curious, as to why Jewish people do not eat pork.

Quoting from Chabad.org:

from Deuteronomy, Chapter 14:8-10:

And the pig, because it has a split hoof, but does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You shall neither eat of their flesh nor touch their carcass.

***

If you are curious, as to why Muslim people do not eat pork.

Quoting from TalktoIslam.com:

from The Qur’an al-An’aam 6:145

Say, “I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal, or blood spilled out, or the flesh of swine – for indeed, it is impure – or it be [an animal slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.

***

So there you have it – both religion deem pigs to be “unclean” for human consumption or even physical contact.

This makes me wonder – How many pigs has died in vain?? Was there ever a mass culling of pigs so they would not contaminate human beings, in the name of religion??

Food for thought.
(pun intended)

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