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Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Election offers
food for thought

THE revelation that some Florida vote-counters actually are eating chad is timely, considering tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the annual holiday where we give thanks and stuff ourselves to the gills with all manner of comestibles.

A chad, as we've all come to learn in recent weeks, is a little piece of paper punched out of computer punch cards. It turns out, however, that a chad does not have to come from an election ballot. There are many species of chad. When you three-hole punch a piece of paper, for instance, you are making chad in triplicate. A chad can come from cardboard, construction paper or even fine stationery. This offers so many possibilities for those interested in the culinary uses of chad. (The plural of chad, cutely enough, is chad.)

Now, in Florida, they eat chad raw, sort of chad sashimi. The vote-counters do this because they may be trying to consume evidence that they are monkeying around with the ballots. It is no accident that most of the vote-counters are Democrats with thin, pointy fingers, the better to surreptitiously abort pregnant chad into their laps and eventually gobble them up, Republicans whine.

I've researched chad as food and discovered a number of wonderful aspects of this trendy delicacy. For starters, chad are naturally low in fat. They also are low in salt and high in fiber, so they get a nod from the American Heart Association.

Why not wow your family and friends with your hipness this Thanksgiving and whip up one of the following chad recipes:

Kalua Chad

Dig a big hole. Fill with wood and lava rocks. Fire rocks until they are hot. Meanwhile, wrap 4,000 chad in ti and banana leaves. Bury in pit. Leave for several hours. Dig up and enjoy.

Portuguese Chad Soup

Follow standard recipe for Portuguese Bean Soup, but in place of Portuguese sausage, add four handfuls of chad.

Chad 'n Dip

Use chad in place of any potato or corn chip and serve with guacamole, onion dip or salsa. For added flavor, gently toast chad after sprinkling with garlic and chile powder. (Put out plenty of napkins because chad are pretty tiny for dipping!)

Sauteed Shad and Chad

In a large skillet, sauté shad or any other saltwater fish until golden brown. Remove fish. De-glaze pan with white wine, butter and prepared mustard. Add a half cup of chad. Spoon chad sauce over fish when serving.

Teriyaki Chad Kabobs

Skewer chad on bamboo sticks that have been soaked in water. Marinate in teriyaki sauce 2 hours. Cook on hibachi over hot coals until crispy.

Chad Manapua

Make bun dough. Mix two cups of chad with pork, making sure to discard the meat, keeping only the big hunks of fat (if going for the local touch). Fill buns with chad and pork mixture. Steam until done.

Chad-ilicious Mac Salad

Mix boiled macaroni, chad and 4 cups of mayonnaise in bowl. Throw entire mess into rubbish and haul immediately to dump. What, are you kidding? Mayo and chad? Gag.

(Federally Mandated Column Safety Warning: The Honolulu Lite attorney general and the U.S surgeon general fervently warn readers against making any of these recipes without consulting a doctor, preferably one familiar with the effects of mass consumption of bits of paper on the human body.)

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802
or send E-mail to

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