The International Writers Magazine-
Curry Farmin' G#d Dammitt'
seems that I have taken my fair share of abuse over the years for
being from the small state of Vermont. In the words of another English
teacher; "A lot of people think you are a hillbilly!".
To set things straight, "Hillbillies" are from Tennessee
"Good Ol` Boys" are from the deep south, "Hoopies",
are from West Virginia, "Mountain Men" are from the Appalachian
Mountain sections of the Ohio Valley, "Cowboys" are from
the American West, and "Imo Yaroo", are from Tohoku. What
I am is a "Redneck", and not just any redneck, but a "G#D
DAMN VERMONT farm-boy redneck !!"
does the successful curry farmer get these flamethrowers?
any "Vamontaah", I am proud of our contributions to o our
country and the world. The best skiing in Eastern North America, the
best maple syrup in the world (Sorry to any Canadian who may try to
delude you into thinking different), high quality dairy products (Cabot
Farms Cheddar Cheese, won a prestigious European cheese tasting contest
last year, a coup along the lines of the Charlie Daniels Band winning
the Strativarius Prize), Ben And Jerry`s Ice Cream, John Leclair of
the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, and the only two independently affiliated
congressmen in Washington D.C., Bernie Sanders, and James "George
Bush Made Me Do It!" Jeffords.
Nothing makes me prouder to be a Vermonter, than to be ale to go into
almost any "kombiini" in Japan and see "Vermont"
Curry mix for sale. It makes we want to blurt out in my thick Vermont
- "ben", " I am verry puroud G*D DAMMITT!" (A note
on how to speak Vermont Ben: we use "G#D (or G*D) DAMMITT"
instead of a period, exclamation point or question mark.)
The reason I am most proud is, despite being a skier for thirty-two
years, a fervent supporter of our independent congressmen, my deepest,
most heartfelt, connection to my home state is Vermont curry. My parents
are the owners of the largest curry tree plantation in Vermont, and
are suppliers of 13.89% of all Vermont curry that ends up in Japanese
In fact the real reason I spent three years on the Japanese Exchange
and Teaching Program, was to learn Japanese and deal with Japanese curry
buyers better. One curry buyer offered us eight yen per kilogram, saying
that one Yen was equal to one American Dollar. Coming to Japan, I discovered
that this is not true, and my parents now charge eighty yen a kilogram.
G%D DAMMITT!! If this curry buyer were not a yakuza I'd get a can of
"whoop-ass" and spray it all over him!
I will be going back to Vermont after my three years on the JET program.
Some people think it will be to go fishing for Northern Pike, drink
real coffee, or to convince old girlfriends to skinny-dip in Lake
Champlain. None of these reasons are true. I will be going back to Vermont
to manage the curry plantation as my Mother and Step-Father retire to
Canada (Why Canada? They said it is because it is so "different
and exotic!"). So while my fellow JETs and ex-JETs are sleeping
on their desks, or are in Southeast Asia inhaling a new exotic experience,
I will be on the supervisors tractor, yelling instructions at our itinerant
exploited migrant laborers (from New Hampshire).
The toughest thing about growing curry is that it is not native to Vermont
(like our famous Boiling Maple Syrup Natural Artificial Hot Springs).
So in order to produce a high quality curry, a curry tree needs roughly
a four-month growing season. The growing season is roughly from May
25th (when winter ends in Vermont) to August 25th (the usual time for
the first snowfall). With curry needing a four month season, and Vermont
supplying three months and two weeks at best, we resort to artificial
means to keep the curry trees warm enough to bloom, on those frosty
April, May, and August nights.
Just how is that done? Back in the "olden days",(about 1965)
it was done by creating huge bonfires. These bonfires kept the trees
warm and protected from frost and snow damage. In the late 20th century,
this is done using military surplus flame-throwers. Current agricultural
research experiments with handheld lasers being used for this purpose
giving a real "Star Trek" feel to the modern curry farm. "Beam
Me Up Scotty, G#D DAMMITT!!"
Where does the successful curry farmer get these flamethrowers? Well,
this is the one reason why the United States now grows the best curry
in the world and more peaceful nations like Japan, The Scandinavian
Countries and England have to import all their curry. The reason is
that that we buy our flamethrowers at the same place we can buy all
our handguns, semi-automatic weapons, handheld tactical nuclear weapons,
and battlefield armor
..K-MART, Wal Mart, Brooks Drugs, 7-Eleven,
Circle K (FYI: convenience and thrift stores). Have you ever tried to
get you semi-automatic weapons carrying permit in a "Sunkus"
or "Camel Mart"? It just cannot be done
Is there any danger to using these flamethrowers? Why, of course, and
accidents do happen sometimes. We try to look at the bright side of
every accident. The neighbors cow? Well, they can sell it as pre-cooked
beef. A stray white tailed deer? Well venison BBQ is "Cho-Oishii".
How about accidentally frying a dog or cat? Well, twenty miles down
the road in Burlington are a few Chinese and Korean restaurants and
we are not above a little "under the table" business for a
few extra bucks (Gotta love those free, opportunistic, open markets
of capitalism!). What if one of our workers gets torched? Well, most
of 'em are from New Hampshire, who cares?
The one thing that sets Vermont curry apart from all other types of
curry are its special ingredients. Most people think it is because of
the added clover honey and apples, or perhaps the rumored addition of
maple syrup and sharp cheddar cheese that gives Vermont curry its extra
special taste. It is none of those though. The final and most special
added ingredient is what we simply call "meadow-muffin", an
all-natural byproduct of out dairy farming industry. It gives Vermont
curry its color, texture, feel, smell, and some would even say, its
So please, the next time you are in a Lawson Station kombiini looking
for dinner, give good old Vermont curry a try. It promises to be a gastronomic
adventure. Pass the rice and Dig In! G#% DAMMITT!!!
© Dean Ruetzler Feb 2004
Morioka, Iwate, Japan and South Burlington,Vermont, USA
all rights reserved