Monday, 3 March 2008

On the stealing of ham

Along with my girlfriend and her cousin, I attended a wein-degustation in the evening. 54 winemakers and sellers offering their various products. Over 150 wines in total and all free to taste after the intial 10 Euro entrance fee.

Now I won't pretend that I know anything about wine - there's red wine and there's white wine, some taste good and some taste bad, and that's as far as my knowledge stretches.

This place was full of conneiseurs who all knew exactly how to taste wine, but my lady and I were just there to get drunk. We'd made an effort to look good, but basically we were just going along the stalls, downing the free wine, and getting pissed.

Complimentary snacks were also avaialble on some of the stalls - baskets of bread and olives and the like. All night long I'd been wary of approaching the stalls myself and having my cover blown, so my girlfriend was fetching my wine each time, striking up conversations with the merchants and whatnot. We were doing good.

Then we passed a stall with a guy offering various cuts of meat. I hadn't eaten any meat in two weeks and had been really craving it, so the plates of delicious ham on offer were too good to pass up.

I confirmed with my girl that the meat was complimentary, and strolled over, glass in hand, grabbed a nice big slice and shoved most of it in my mouth.

To my horror and bewilderment, a well dressed guy who was also standing at the stall turned to me with a look of pure anger and shouted something at me in German. I then realised that the meat was NOT complimentary and he was a potential customer of the butcher, taking a plate of cuts to sample before buying in bulk. I'd basically walked up and helped myself to some food from his plate, right before his eyes.

By this point I was tipsy too, and had a whole glass of wine rather than the small measure usually taken for tasting. I must have just looked like a drunken British meat thief, especially as I could only apologise in slurred English.

And the most mortifying thing was, I couldn't return a slice of half-eaten meat to his plate, so I had to finish it there and then as he was scalding me, in what must have seemed an act of uncultured defiance.

It was fucking good ham though.

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