Food for thought: I’m game


Hannah Agpoon

Graphic by Hannah Agpoon.

Gabby Hernandez, Contributing Writer

With spring break came the opportunity for the S&B sports editor, Mo, to freeze two racks of lamb chops and transport them from the West Coast to rural Iowa for the S&B community editor, Jandry, to cook and for me to enjoy. Those lovely chops were priced by Costco low enough for the average college student in this economy to indulge once in a blue moon.

I was napping when the chops went into the oven, but the heartwarming scent of lamb quickly spread throughout the residence and awoke me from my slumber. I descended the stairs and came face-to-face with that divine meat. It quickly became clear to me that these chops were personally blessed by the gods. The deeply browned exterior and juicy pink center makes me salivate even thinking about it now. There are very few foods that make my mouth water like lamb chops.

The chef’s knife cleanly sliced through the spaces in between the bones. Juices, containing an unimaginably beloved flavor, leaked out of the chops and onto the plate. Once properly chopped, the chops were lightly salted with sea salt and served.

I took a bite. The subtle sweetness and a slight hint of gaminess was just perfect. The rosemary that lingered on the edge of the top added a gracefully herbal contrast to the perfectly chewy meat of the chop. The garlic rub had settled deeply into the meat and added another layer to this complex dish.

Lamb chops generally have a unique, rich flavor. Some people may find the flavor of lamb to be too strong or “gamey” for their taste. I, however, love it. No other meat tastes like the animal it comes from quite like lamb does. I can imagine myself confusing pork and beef under a blind taste test under the correct conditions. However, never — not even if I had lost my taste to illness — would I be unable to identify lamb meat from a cluster of other samples.

Eating these lamb chops was like taking a journey through the Iowan countryside on a day with weaker winds and sunlight perfectly blocked by white, fluffy clouds. Each tender bite revealed a new landscape of taste and texture.

The flavor was rich and sophisticated. It had layers of earthy and herbaceous notes that complemented the natural sweetness of the lamb. The seasoning was subtle yet impactful, thus enhancing the overall taste experience.

Consuming these chops was not a meal, it was an experience. They were a dish that demanded attention, appreciation and enjoyment. Savoring these chops was like experiencing a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day. I wanted to stand there and experience that joy forever. The chops brought warmth and brightness to my palate and stomach.