Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What's Good for the Goose

As we were walking up to a meeting yesterday, I asked my colleague, who has been coughing, about his recent visit to the doctor. "First, he thought it was bronchitis," he told me, "now he says it's just a cold."

"My grandmother would give you some goose grease to rub on your neck," I told him.

"Mine too," he said.

I paused. Grandma Anna"s longstanding belief in the palliative power of goose fat has been a joke in our family forever, but I've never met anyone else who had ever heard of such a thing.

"My grandmother's family is Irish," I told my colleague.

"Mine's from Voivodina," he said. "But a goose is a goose,"

I am sad to report that the repository of all truth known as Wikipedia does not have an entry for either "goose grease" or "goose fat."

The ridiculously improbable Goose Fat Information Service states that although geese have been a key part of the European economy since the fall of Rome in the 5th century, the use of the fat for medicinal purposes is a "modern" development from the 1930s, which is consistent with my grandmother's timeline. I'll have to tease her about those newfangled remedies.

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