Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tangiers Hash

If one looks up the phrase “Tangiers Hash” in Google, over a million results come back at you, none of which are recipes for a rather benign dish of pork sausage. A good deal of them relate cautionary tales of what not to do in Morocco if you want to enjoy your holiday without being thrown in jail. The rest are odes to doing the exact opposite of what the others suggest, enabling you to enjoy your holiday even more.

Making a mess of things is the guiding feature of this dish, which is a classic culinary hash — meaning coarsely chopped. Everything in it has been sliced, diced, ground, crumbled and snipped. One supposes that the recipe writer thought it dead funny to make a play on the word “hash” by naughtily referring to the other kind of hash one finds in Tangiers — which today seems rather quaint.

Ultimately, it’s a trick that backfires when the diner, expecting to get his or her brain melted into a tetrahydrocannabinol stupor after a few mouthfuls, discovers that there are absolutely no psychoactive ingredients in it at all. Boooooring.

The hash, on the other hand, has been busy being utilized for dozens of meanings across several disciplines and notation systems. The hash key on a phone, for example (#) is used to denote the end of a variable-length string of numbers with a tone that mixes 941 and 1477 Hz. That’s probably the exact same frequency of a hashish buzz.

It can all get a bit confusing. Hash brownies should not be confused with hash browns, for instance, lest one eat the wrong thing for breakfast and spend the rest of the day giggling on the kitchen floor.

Kif kif, you say — so what. Kif (or kief) is the powder gained by rubbing THC crystals from unfertilized marijuana buds before it is compressed into blocks of hashish. Keef Richards, on the other hand, is actually made from a giant block of hashish which has been carved into human form and has developed a cracked patina over time.

Cracked patina sounds like it should be an ingredient in Tangiers Hash, but isn’t. Am I rambling on? Terribly hungry all of a sudden. Got anything to eat?

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Ground Meat Cook Book, Better Homes and Gardens, 1969
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