We eat meat and food prepared with spices. Vulcans are exclusively I Get My Attitude From My Freaking Awesome Mom Funny Gift T-Shirt and they use very few spices; perhaps a light sprinkle of salt and little else. (All airbreathers with hemoglobin need a bit of sodium—but not too much—otherwise a lack of it can cause severe cardiac problems. The vagus nerve in the heart won’t fire properly and the heartbeat becomes quite irregular. I speak from experience—but on the other hand, I’m not a Vulcan.) Having said that, there are certain Vulcan foods that can be very spicy; plomeek soup, for example, which Christine Chapel prepared for Spock when he was in the first stages of pon farr, the Vulcan mating reflex.
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Plomeek is a kind of vegetable broth. (If you′ll recall, Spock decorated the walls of his I Get My Attitude From My Freaking Awesome Mom Funny Gift T-Shirt with it in a fit of rage. See “Amok Time.”) Meat-eaters emit a very peculiar smell. When Europeans first encountered the Japanese in the late 1500’s, early 1600’s, the Japanese (who were also almost all strictly vegetarian, at least the peasants) noticed the stink immediately. It’s very oily and pungent and the Japanese could literally smell us from several yards away. They could also smell Koreans and in fact, a colloquial name for Koreans at the time was “the Garlic-Eaters.” If you’ve ever had occasion to sit close to a Korean immigrant who’s just had a soul-satisfying lunch of kimchi, you know what I mean. Two or three Koreans who’ve had a full-course meal featuring kimchi (which is boiled garlic, cabbage, and onion allowed to ferment and then used as a kind of sauce on everything) can literally clear a roomful of non-Koreans in under a minute. Koreans aren’t trying to be offensive, they just aren’t consciously aware of it. To them, kimchi is comfort food, like fried chicken, gravy, and mashed potatoes are to some Americans.