Q: Dear CBA,
I’ve been wondering for a while what the deal is with fish sauce. How can something that smells so gross be so popular? I mean, it smells like extra-putrid rotten fish. I’ve tried cooking with it, and the food ends up tasting like fish sauce smells.
I love Thai food, and I know they use a lot of fish sauce, so I’m wondering how they get away with it?
—Not Quite Hooked
A: Dear Unhooked,
I’ve experienced the same phenomenon, so I sympathize. The trick to using fish sauce is that you add a few drops to dishes that have strong flavors in other ways, and the power of the competing flavors balances out.
From One Who Knows—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might seem like an impregnable fortress to public access channels and stations—or even to someone like me or you, who might want to call and give the commission a what-for on occasion. It's highly ironic that the organization overseeing the United States’ most powerful means of communication has few meaningful contact numbers or e-mail addresses available on its website.
Dateline: Japan--Officials at the Tama Zoo in Tokyo recently decided to try out a live safety drill, but the ridiculous scenario ended up leaving dozens of schoolchildren in tears. The idea was to test the readiness of zoo staff in the event of a dangerous animal escape. The staff was taking part in a make-believe scenario in which a strong wind blows a tree over in the orangutan enclosure providing one of the occupants with a ramp to escape over the perimeter fence. The creature in this particular instance was played by a zoo employee in an oversized orange orangutan costume. Despite the fake ape’s cartoonish appearance, the acting was apparently convincing enough to frighten a school party, which happened to be inside the zoo at the time. After racing around the grounds, the faux-furred “orangutan” seized a member of the staff before meeting his match in a zookeeper armed with a tranquilizer gun. Unfortunately, this King Kong-like finale was greeted with hysteria among the young crowd who, as they watched the drama unfold, were completely convinced of the animal’s “demise.” It took some time for staff to circulate and reassure the audience that the horror had all been a fantasy.
Day of the Woman--Maiden Fest and Sol Arts are celebrating International Women’s Day with “songs to wage peace, poetry and short films.” The event will take place Thursday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sol Arts (712 Central SE). No word on what sort of films will be shown, but I’m guessing they’ll be ... you know, womany.
Where There's Smoke—A new University-area hookah bar called Hunab Hookah is catering to the 18-plus crowd with live music. (Don't fret, there's no booze at this place—just flavored tobacco called "shisha.") The space is at 3400 Constitution NE, just west of Carlisle, which you may remember has housed several coffee bar-lounge-type establishments over the past several years, including the popular but short-lived Café Riviera. Give it a spin this weekend as local hippies Meat the Vegans play a CD release show on Saturday, March 10. The show is listed from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., but that seems like a typo. Maybe it’s not. $4 at the door gets you in. Call 232-0223 for more details, or log on to www.hunabhookah.com.
The Sweet Taste of Free—As I'm sure you're already aware, Global DanceFest is back in Albuquerque courtesy of the fine folks over VSA Arts of New Mexico. This time around, some of the featured performers will be offering classes to local dance enthusiasts. The best part? The classes are absolutely free.