with 2 comments

I saw this video awhile back (when it was linked on this site):

And so when some friends and I went to this Meditteranean food place in town called Petra, I was already sold on the dish.

Unfortunately, when it actually arrived, I was not a fan. Now, please don’t misunderstand: it was not Petra’s fault. The Chicken Gyro (something I always mispronounce) I ordered was delicious. But the tabbouleh looked a little different than the Tabbouleh in the video (maybe I got mixed up, I thought), so I decided to look it up on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia says that tabbouleh is a “Levantine Arab dish, often used as part of a mezze,” which is a perfect example of how Wikipedia is changing the way we learn things. Usually, an encyclopedia would have to actually explain what tabbouleh was (if they even had such an article: Wikipedia has 2,884,606 articles, while the Encyclopædia Britannica only has about half a million (I know this because I looked it up on Wikipedia), and the Britannica’s online version seems to lack an entry on the food) using normal human vocabulary, but in Wikipedia, they can just throw out terms like “Levantine” and “mezze.” Just in case you didn’t click on those words (which I’ll assume is true because you’re still here reading this), allow me to define them. Levantine cuisine is typical cuisine of Ottoman Syria, which is now known as Levant. Here is a picture:

I think it's the purple part.

I think it's the purple part.

Some other famous Levantine dishes are hummus and baba ghanoush (which, to me, always sounded like the name of a boxer or a really cool way to say hello).

And mezze (or Meze, as it’s spelled on the Wikipedia article: I bet spelling standardization is one thing the Britannica has on Wikipedia, seeing as how they’ve stuck with their patently false spelling of encyclopædia (æ’s not even a letter!) for so long) is a “selection of small appetizers often served with a beverage, like anise-flavored liqueurs such as arak, ouzo, raki or different wines, similar to the tapas of Spain or finger food.” And yes, I know what wines, tapas, Spains, and finger foods are, but arak, ouzo, and raki are new to me, and that’s a bit more clicking and so on and so on and three hours later you realize, oh my God, it’s three hours later.

And that, of course, is the beauty of Wikipedia: that it allows a person to get lost in knowledge. Some people deride the lack of focus that will surely be produced in the generation raised on this insidious invention known as the Internet, but how can you find fault with a tool that allows a person to become lost in their own learnin’? I think it’s going to be frightening how smart the next few generations of children are going to be: this is why it’s important that we keep showing them movies like Terminator and The Matrix so that they know not to design killer robots.

(Too late.)

(Or, if instead of horrifying military news articles, you’d prefer musical numbers: here, here, or here.)


Written by Greg Karber

May 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I love the tabbouleh song! and i knew that you didn’t like your tabbouleh the other day at Petra. Once again, it seems that you should have followed my lead when ordering. =)


    May 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm

  2. OMG. I love the tabbouleh song. I’m in Egypt right now and they love that stuff.


    July 15, 2009 at 8:02 pm

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