2006-03-22

Pepper

In "Waltz"[DSN6], there's one aspect of that most excellent episode that has always seemed odd to me. Sisko and Dukat are stranded on a planet with only the emergency supply rations from a shuttle to sustain them. While eating some of Dukat's cooking, Sisko notes that it needs pepper. So, he adds some from what appears to be a shaker.

A pepper shaker?

Salt as a part of an emergency supply kit I can understand. Even sugar has its uses. But pepper simply is not a necessary part of the diet. Sure, I'm all about some pepper, but let's be realistic here.

Black pepper is simply the ground bits of the peppercorn plant. Although it has been a prized spice on Earth for millenia (even used as currency at times), that doesn't justify its inclusion in an emergency supply kit. Even if we assumed that it was included because of piperine (the relevant chemical of pepper, reportedly useful for lowering metabolism), there would surely be more efficient ways to store and deliver it to the species who would be properly affected by it than via ground peppercorn in a dedicated shaker.

(Of course this touches on the fact that everyone seems to be able to eat everyone else's culinary delights in Trek without being poisoned, but that's a rant for another time.)

12 comments:

  1. On the other hand, here on Earth military rations usually include stuff like chocolate, which is not really needed for merely surviving either.

    They put that stuff in because it lifts morale to have something 'nice' in your rations. Perhaps this is more of the same thing?

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  2. Still, why not use little packages like they put salt in when you order fries at Wendy's? Smaller.

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  3. But it wouldn't be futuristic. Not to mention I'd look down on Sisko for daring to use salt PACKETS in his cooking. I mean, good SCIENCE man, he's one of only two competant cooks we've ever seen on Star Trek. He could at least stick to quality ingredients. =/

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  4. There are times in ST where one race's food is dangerous to another. Pulaski had to innoculate herself for the Klingon Tea Ceremony, and there was another time where Picard was trapped with some other beings, and one of them could not eat the food provided.

    Now I know the Klingon Tea Ceremony was SUPPOSED to be poisonous, but I would suppose that by the time most Trek takes place, medicine might have allowed simple innoculations to prevent alien food poisoning! Perhaps even one-time vaccinations.

    Besides, everyone knows Sisko keeps a fully stocked Cajun kitchen on his person at all times!

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  5. I think this is a DS9-specific emergency ration. Clearly, on one of the previous emergencies Sisko was stranded with only a ration for sustenance, and what's worse; a ration badly in need of pepper!
    All he had was one of those little McDonalds salt packets, and that's just crap. So he told O'Brien to go and put real salt and pepper shakers into all the emergency ration kits.

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  6. I still think it is just a Sisko special ability. Worf supposedly has several blades on his person at all times, so it is clearly possible that Sisko has many varieties of spices with him as well.

    You'd be amazed what can be hidden in a tight jumpsuit!

    <_<

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  7. Heh. I can just see it as well.

    SIKSO: THE SPICE WARRIOR! With pepper, salt, and all sorts of spices at his command, he fights evil, solves mysterious, punishes criminals, and saves the world! Coming this Saturday to a theatre near you!

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  8. Pssst...

    http://quizilla.com/users/TJHairball/quizzes/The%20Star%20Trek%20versus%20Star%20Wars%20fan%20guide%20quiz/

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  9. Avatar Of Narendra IIIMon Apr 10, 12:13:00 PM 2006

    As far a Quizilla goes, thats actually a pretty good quiz... I must say I like some of the images used in the Pro-Trek background, Hahahaha.

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  10. A great comment sent via site feedback:

    "Re: Pepper: It makes sense that pepper as a condiment would be in a survival package. Pepper is a particularly powerful spice, originally prized in Europe for it's ability to mask the taste of meat that had gone "slightly off". In a similar vein, Army Special Forces teach their people to take packages of the hottest hot sauces they can find with them in the field, especially when they plan on "living off the land". Virtually any meat that isn't intrensically poisonous can be rendered at least edible if enough is applied to it."

    That does make the pepper issue a bit better, though there's still the issue of alien tongues (or digestive systems).

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  11. Most life in the galaxy is because of the progenitors. Many species can eat and digest the food of other systems. But, that makes you wonder what life could have been, if it wasn't for them. Would people look more, like the tholians?

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