Scratch is an elusive ingredient which is cited as the reason for the flavor in most homemade foods.
The Scratch plant is visible to all, but is often mistaken for other types of greenery. The grain or fruit of the plant is only visible to those who are positive for the scratch gene. Thus only those who recognize the plant and are able to see the grain can use scratch in their food.
Context and UseEdit
The most common reference to scratch is when describing foods. The cook boasts that a certain food was "made from scratch", often without elaborating upon the exact nature of this elusive ingredient. There are several varieties of the scratch plant, each suited to different types of dishes. The greatest chefs have mastered the subtleties of the plant and know how to select and mix them for the greatest combinations of flavor. Mountain scratch was used by early pioneers in their cooking, and it is the only variety of scratch native to the Americas. Those who are unable to see scratch can still appreciate food prepared with it, but they cannot fully understand or appreciate the difference.
Almost all complex foods have some scratch in them, but its exact nature depends upon the level of preparation involved. If a food is prepackaged, often referred to as a "mix", then the flavorful properties of the scratch leak out slowly during the shelf life of the food. Mixes can be used by anyone, scratch-seeing or no, but those who can use scratch themselves often state that there is better flavor in foods where the scratch was added by hand and not pre-processed in a mix.
When the scratch is used and consumed within a week of harvesting it lends the finished food the maximum amount of flavor and added nutrition. Because few people still have the time to locate the plant for harvest, there is packaged scratch available for purchase in any food store. However, this supply of scratch is invisible to those without the scratch gene, so they are still unable to make food from scratch, despite the ingredient's availability.
Only those who have the scratch gene are able to see the grain of the plant and use it in their cooking. To discover whether you have this gene, please refer to the image to the right. If you do not possess the gene, you will not see the picture of scratch. Those who do not have the scratch gene are often unable to make complex foods, even when following exact cooking directions, because they cannot see the directions on when to add scratch or have the scratch to add. These individuals are often sources of exasperation to their scratch-seeing relatives who cannot understand the level of ineptitude that results from the inability to see scratch.
The gene for seeing scratch is a recessive gene, with the inability to see scratch being the dominant trait. Thus the ability to see scratch can be constant for generations, or only surface in one family member in ten.
Scratch originated in the Orient and was imported into Europe and the Americas in the early 1600's by the East India Trading Company. The discovery of the scratch plant is attributed to some person in the early Chin dynasty, though it only became widely used during the Double Chin Dynasty. Scratch became very popular in countries such as France, America, and Italy, though England staunchly refuses to acknowledge its existence.
In proper amounts, scratch increases longevity and overall health, but certain side effects must be acknowledged.
- Excessive quantities of scratch can promote:
- Enlarged jowls
- Hardening of arteries