Because Rigabold had never tried one of the things Catherine had called a Spring Roll he decided that was where he’d start with his first feast. He was sure that it could never taste as good as the product his entire race had sent him to Earth to figure out how to make, but he also decided it was worth giving the thing a decent chance by eating it without the taste of something as perfect as a Chiko Roll to spoil it.
Despite all seven little bags all being identical, all having the words “Grab A Chiko” written above the Chiko logo that was printed horizontally three times on each wrapper, Rigabold knew at a glance what he was grabbing. He had no idea why a Spring Roll came wrapped in a paper wrapper that had Chiko written on it but his assumption was that Spring Rolls posed as Chiko Rolls in an effort to be something better than they were.
“Don’t be silly, Riga.” He said to himself slightly louder than he needed to. “Give the thing a chance, you could be finding another delicacy that is worth taking home.”
The golden brown outer wrapping of the Spring Roll easily distinguished it from the Chiko Roll. It was a pastry type casing that had been deep fried, it was softer, in fact the entire roll was softer and it almost felt like he was going to stick his fingers right into the filling when he tried to slide it out of the paper wrapper. Each end, where the pastry like wrapping met and folded over itself to seal in the contents, was crusty enough to make a slight knocking noise when he tapped it with his finger nail The hard crusty ends somewhat resembled a Chiko Roll but that was the closest it came.
Rigabold assumed that like a Chiko Roll the first bite into a Spring Roll had to be into the hard crusty end, not into the soft middle. There was a some temptation with a Chiko Roll to leave the best bits until last by eating at the middle first and leaving the two crusty ends to the last mouthful, but as the Tumcuddulans knew that simply was not the case.
What the Tumcuddulans knew, as did some humans, was that the way the first cracking bite broke the hard pastry into ones mouth, tantalising the tongue with just a hint of the Chiko goodness set the mood for the entire meal. Then if done right a similar thing happened with the final bite, when the last small bit of Chiko goodness cracked into ones mouth along with that hard pastry casing. It finalised the meal just like a full stop finalises a sentence.
Thinking he understood the Spring Roll as he understood the Chiko Roll Rigabold looked down at his hot feast, then lifted it towards his mouth and took his first bite.
The sound of the hard pastry end cracking in Rigbaold’s mouth filled the cabin of the Dodge. It wasn’t quite as satisfying as the Chiko Roll and the taste wasn’t quite there either. It tasted fine, in fact it tasted really good but getting over the differences between the finest delicacy in many universes and the Spring Roll was going to be harder than he first thought.
After his third Spring Roll Rigabold sat back in the driver’s seat, closed his eyes and took a brief moment to collect his thoughts. Unlike some humans who would take an eternity to figure some things out a brief moment was all it took for Tumcuddulans to consider everything they needed to about any given subject.
The Spring Roll was good and he would before his journey finished procure another specimen to take home and have studied but it was definitely not in the same league as a Chiko. The crunch was there at either end, the pastry tasted good, and the fillings really did work together well. But the way the centre was soft and made ones fingers feel like they’d break through and leave the precious innards as outards was hard to get over. It wouldn’t be an issue for Tumcuddulans because their hands were not as clumsy as human hands but it was still something that the Tumcuddulan mind considered in the brief moment it was allowed too.
As a part of his studies of Earth and its in habitants, especially the Australian ones where he knew he would be spending time Rigabold had watched many TV shows, they ranged from documentaries to something the was referred to as ‘reality shows’. The reality aspect of such shows confused Rigabold somewhat, if reality really was what these shows portrayed then it was obvious why the human race was on a path to extinction. However amongst such shows he did find some which leaned towards a culinary theme, the presenters were complete wigaboggas, and the contestants were often little more than glory hunters but the shows did serve as a part of his education.
One term that seemed to be over used by all of the wigaboggas was ‘cleanse the palette’ and it involved washing a fluid through the mouth seemingly to clean the remnants of one meal before another entered. The wigaboggas never mentioned anything special about the cleaning fluid used and Rigabold assumed it wasn’t something like bleach, or methylated spirits which were common cleaning fluids on Earth so he hoped that the spearmint milk would handle the job.
Rigabold picked up the milkshake container and brought the straw towards his lips. Once the straw was in his mouth he sucked the light green by product of another four legged Earth bound animal into his mouth and sloshed it around hoping the cleansing process was relatively automatic. Then it hit him.