What do men really live upon ? The an swer will be various enough. The Guacho, who in the wild pampas of Buenos Ayres, managing his half-wild horse with incredible dexterity, throws the lasso, or lolas, to catch the ostrich, the guanaco, or the wild bull, con sumes daily from ten to twelve pounds ol meat, and regards it as a high feast-day when in any hacienda he gains a variety in the shape of a morsel of pumpkin. The word bread does not exist in his vocabulary. The Irishman, on the other hand, regales himself in careless mirth on "potatoes and point,"' after a day of painful labor, he who cannot help making a joke even of the name he gives to his scanty meal. The hunter of the pra-lies lays low the buffalo with sure bullet; and its juicy, fat streaked hump, roasted be tween two hot stones, is to him the greatest of delicacies. Meanwhile, the industrious Chinese carries to market his carefully fat tened rats delicately arranged upon white sticks, certain to find a.good customer among the epicures of Pekin; and in his hot, smoky hut, fast buried beneath the snow and ice, the Greenlander consumes his fat, which he has just carved_ rejoicing over the costly prize, from a stranded whale. Here the black slave eats the suga'r-cane, and eats his bana na ; there the African merchant fills his wallet with sweet dates,his sole subsistence in the long desert journey; and there the Siamese crams himself with a quantity of rice from which a European would shrink appalled. And wheresoever over the whole inhabited earth we approach and demand hos pitality, in almost every little spot a different kind of food is set before us, and the " daily bread " offered in another form.
This article was originally published with the title "Man's Food" in Scientific American 8, 22, 176 (February 1853)