Age: About six months.
Appearance: Almost like the real thing.
Schmeat? Schwat? It’s one of the runners-up for Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.
Schwat does it schmean? You know, that could get real old, real fast.
Oh, you mean that hamburger that started life as a few cells cultured in a delicious nutritional soup of antibiotics and foetal bovine serum but is still ethically and ecologically better than hacking lumps off actual cows? Yes.
I don’t get it. Has it been dismissed as nonsensical by the Guild of Jewish Mothers? “Meat-schmeat!” No, it’s a combination of “sheet” and “meat”.
Sheet? Because that’s how you grow meat that does not have to be supported by a cow/sheep/pig skeleton. In sheets.
I’ve just been a little bit schick in my mouth. Schfair enough. No, wait, schtop – I mean, stop – it.
Hang on – shouldn’t it be “shmeat”? Why’s the “c” there? That is a question for more cunning linguists than I.
OK, then – why is it only a runner-up? It seems like a pretty good word to me. Neat. Rolls off the tongue. Probably very useful once we’ve reduced the world to a spinning ball of dust and are living in pods and depending on petri dishes for our food. Yes, but it hasn’t had the 17,000% increase in usage that the winner has had over the last year.
Which is? “Selfie” – a picture people take of themselves on their phone and post on social media. Coincidentally, most of them look about as prepossessing as the average bunch of meat fibres emerging from dish of foetal bovine serum.
But let’s go back to the schmeat of the issue. Is it arriving on our supermarket shelves anytime soon? Scientists predict it will be producible in sufficient amounts by the end of the decade.
Is it going to be the best thing since sliced bread or the worst thing since turkey bacon? Time alone will tell, my friend. Time alone will tell.
Do say: “Scha fantastic idea! Schign me up.”
Don’t say: “I bet it tastes like schite.”