A few days ago my dad and I went out to dinner while my mom went to a meeting of her book club. Dad suggested a place I hadn’t been before. They have a very short regular menu, just a single piece of paper folded in half to give it style. Fortunately they do extensive daily specials on a large blackboard including, on the night we were there, goat tacos.
Neither of us had ever tried goat before, which is as good a reason as any to order something, in my opinion. They came in a soft flour tortilla with a little salsa and some cilantro cut up over the meat.
Basically it tasted like a chewy, slightly gamier beef. The meat was shredded, contributing to a slight stringiness factor. And now I can never again say that I have never tried a goat taco.
What I wondered most of all was where they got the goat, as they are not animals commonly farmed for meat in the US.
Today I learned that the Philadelphia Mummer’s Parade is no longer being broadcast over national television. I think this is a terrible tragedy.
Mumming is an ancient though not very widely practiced tradition in many nations, according to the Philly Mummers website. Basically it’s a bunch of people (usually men) dressed up in gaudy costumes in order to welcome in the New Year (or compete with the wildness of revelries from the night before, as the case may be.)
The Philadelphia mummers parade has four divisions: comic, fancy, fancy brigade, and string band. There are lots of men dressed in very shiny women’s clothes, including parasols. There are clowns. There are floats that come apart to reveal dancing mummers, there are mummers playing instruments, and there are elaborate costumes mounted on wheels with huge back pieces that the performer has to carry and dance with. (This gets especially exciting when it’s windy!) In short, it is one of the best parades ever and it is my absolute favorite thing to watch on New Year’s Day, even better than the Rose Bowl Parade. (Though to be fair, making an entire enormous parade with all the floats out of natural and organic ingredients is also pretty cool.)
Unfortunately this year the parade not only lost all of its financial support from the city of Philadelphia, it also won’t be shown on national TV. The local Philadelphia stations will be broadcasting it but the rest of us will have to make do without ringing in the New Year in such shiny style.
I can’t leave you on such a down note, so I’m happy to report that the Mummer’s Museum is still going strong in downtown Philadelphia. May mummery reign anew!