Do you want to be chopped?

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I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I’ve encountered. I write today about a simile from the TV show Chopped.

I try not to watch too much television but I have one very guilty pleasure: the TV program, Chopped. A cooking show that runs on the Food Network, Chopped pits four chefs against each other. Their first challenge? To create an appetizer in 20 minutes, using ingredients from a “mystery basket.” Ted Allen is the host.

You need to know that the mystery baskets often contain crazy items such as candy, packaged foods such as Twinkies and difficult-to-manage ingredients such as the ghost chilis. At the end of the round, three judges (all celebrated chefs themselves) taste the dishes and send home (ie: “chop”) the chef with the least favourable dish.

Then, the three remaining chefs repeat the exercise with 30 minutes for an entree, and a different basket of ingredients. Again, one of them is chopped and the remaining two go through the challenge again, this time making dessert (with a third basket of ingredients.) The winner earns $10,000.

The significant prize, the craziness of the mystery baskets, the ingenuity of the chefs, the pressure of the ticking clock and the careful editing (with rapid cuts and great music) make Chopped a captivating show. But cooking is also a hobby of mine so perhaps I enjoy it because it also gives me some great food ideas.

I’ve never expected it to give me a great simile, however, and I was astonished when the episode I watched last night did exactly that. One of the items in the appetizer mystery basket was pig snouts, which led one of the chefs to remark:

Pig snout is like if rubber bands and bacon had a baby.

I’ve never eaten pig snout (and hope I never will) but I loved that line. Funny and informative! If you want to watch this show, the episode will be airing again today (Oct. 31). It’s called A Very Piggy Halloween and you can find the link on this page.

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