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Planking: Not Just for Idiots and Slaves

Tonight, I decided to go through my loose recipes and organize them.  Its something Ive been needing to do, because I just have too many.  Personally, I blame the Washington Post Food section.  I happened upon a very interesting piece in the November, 2005 Food 101 column that had to do with planking.

Now, if you’ve been following the latest pop culture craze, planking (people laying across objects stiff and straight, kind of like the yoga pose), you should know about the controversy behind it.  Some see it as a fun activity, taking pictures of themselves to post online.  Some other less than sophisticated individuals have said that planking is a degrading act because it was once done to enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage (um, no).  Well, this article revealed that there is yet another definition to the term planking.    

When author Robert L. Wolke wrote about planking back in 2005, it was because it was a technique for cooking fish.  Salmon specifically.  Wolke thought the cooking of salmon on planks of cedar by Native Americans was a myth.  This statement caused quite a controversy - surprise, surprise - and experts in the field weighed in.  And while cedar had been used to cook fish, as kindling or in woven mats that held fish above a fire, cedar planks were never used to cook salmon.  

We can now see that people have been bickering over the correct usage for the term planking for six years now.  A plank is a piece of wood.  Planking is a silly activity seen all over the internets, and not a method of cooking fish.  Nor is it what slavers did to enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage.  I hope this clears everything up for you all.   

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