Fish is not going to be the most difficult food to replace after all. I can find foods that resemble the texture or flavours of fish dishes (substituting chicken or tofu in a meal that features a particular sauce, or making various vegetarian sushi, for example). The problem with tea, however, is that the substitute drink will be entirely different from tea, or will resemble tea a bit too much.
Barley tisane is a bit of the latter. I dry roasted barley for half an hour, and steeped it my French press. It’s supposed to resemble the flavour of coffee a little bit. It did, because barley has the same earthy, smoky flavour range that coffee does (though not as strong). It even more resembled tea, however, with its slightly sour flavour. Adding honey and milk intensified the tea-like qualities. Perhaps that’s the phenomenon I thought I was after.
It turns out that tea-like substances still bear the memory of illness and nausea (a bit worse than nausea, actually: my reaction to tea is a particularly violent one). I suspect the connections between food and the response it effects is mostly psychological, but I have no idea how to overcome the reaction.
If I can’t keep the drink down, it’s not much better than the real thing. It’s certainly not enabling the social relationships that tea fosters in most people. And this, after all, is part of the point of this archive: to reconstruct the broken relationships which food allergies cause.
Clearly barley tea is not the answer.
28 February 2010 ~ Hamilton