Until 1733, the palates of the British Subjects in the American Colonies were accustomed to the sweet taste of molasses, most of it imported – for economic reasons – from the French and Dutch West Indies. Then, in March 1733, Parliament imposed one of the first of many nefarious taxes – a six pence per gallon tax on any molasses not imported from the British West Indies.
The enraged American colonists thwarted this British attempt to regulate their trade by smuggling molasses in from the French and Dutch colonies, albeit at a lower volume. Most of the reduced supply of molasses smuggled in, however, was dedicated to the production of rum, a commodity that, understandably, was considered to be of greater importance than table syrup.
The colonists, deprived of their molasses at the breakfast table, turned to their Indian friends for a solution. The Indians had for centuries been tapping the sap of the Maple tree in Spring and reducing it to a savory syrup. The American colonists quickly adopted the Indian tradition and the American addiction to Maple syrup was born.
My kids and most of my friends consider the crème de la crème of barbecue flavorings to be Mesquite. If you can't actually get Mesquite wood, there are a wide variety of Mesquite flavored charcoals available, as well as Mesquite flavored wood chips you can put on the burner of your gas grill to flavor your hamburgers. There's also a plethora of Mesquite flavored barbecue sauces you can buy at your local supermarket to assist you in accommodating the American craving for Mesquite. But why Mesquite?
Being from Texas, I know that the only reason we used Mesquite wood for barbecuing in South Texas was 'cause it was the only damn wood we had. There ain't much else in the way of trees that grows in south Texas. But we adapted to it and actually came to like it, and, being Texans, we convinced the rest of the country that they better damn well like it as well.
Most of our tastes, from food to clothes to cars, are acquired. And if we drift away or are forced away from our comfort zone, we will acquire new tastes. But that is not always a good thing!
As Americans, we have acquired a taste for freedom. There are those, however, who aspire to ween us away from freedom with a different taste – the taste of fascism! They are clever – and deceitful. They promise security – and deliver slavery. They promise prosperity – and deliver poverty. They promise peace and happiness – and deliver war and misery.
They promise health – and they deliver death!