After all the fuss, it turns out WikiLeaks didn't start a revolution, and it didn't even reveal many surprises. So Saudi Arabia is the largest source for Islamic terrorist funding? I'm shocked, shocked! Really, the U.S. spies on its own citizens? Wow, I never would have suspected.
Since most of the revelations from WikiLeaks turn out to be non-zingers, I've begun to see them more as a form of entertainment. As far as I'm concerned, the juiciest details of WikiLeaks are all about the booze and the food!
Some of the best food-related secrets spilled:
1. Two-Day Wedding in the North Caucasus
A wedding feast for the son of an oil company chief and party leader named Gadzhi Makhachev at his summer home in Makhachkala, Dagestan included an eight-hour dinner. The staff kept "whole sheep and whole cows boiling in a cauldron somewhere day and night, dumping disjointed fragments of the carcass on the tables whenever someone entered the room." Thousands of bottles of "Beluga Export" vodka -- "best consumed with caviar" -- were flown in from the Urals when it looked like the booze was running low.
After eight hours of vodka and boiled meat, the guests ran into the ocean for some post-prandial jet skiing. Miraculously, no deaths were reported.
2, More Boiled Meat
Meanwhile, across the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, a wealthy man named Alexander Mashkevich hosted a visiting U.S. delegation for dinner. He served noodles and more boiled meat. Alas, the reporting diplomat was not impressed: "It is not clear what Mashkevich is spending his billions on, but it is certainly not culinary talent." Drat! Should have consulted Martha Stewart before attempting to entertain Americans.
Worse, "the wait staff appeared to be graduates of a Soviet cafeteria trading academy." Poor Secretary Clinton had a scheduled visit to Kazakhstan last week. Wonder how awkward that was?
3. Party Animals
Another cable reports that Kazakhstan's Defense Minister Daniyal Akhmetov likes to kick it old-school: He "appears to enjoy loosening up in the tried and true 'homo-sovieticus' style -- i.e. drinking onself into a stupor." Don't we all.
Meanwhile in Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is depicted as a party animal. His "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean that he does not get sufficient rest." Berlusconi is said to have "had a good laugh" when he caught wind of his reputation.
I'm just disappointed that this appears to be as racy as it gets. Everyone else in the WikiLeaks cables seems to be actually working.
4. More Delicious GM Food, Africa?
On a more sobering (ahem) note is the extent to which the U.S. has been trying to push genetically modified crops on Africa. One document lists "Government acceptance of genetically modified food and propagation of genetically modified crops" as an objective for Burundi, Rwanda, the Republic of Congo, and other African countries.
Personally speaking, if there's any revelation in the WikiLeaks cables that gives me chills, it's that one. But again, even this is not at all surprising.
Image via Terren in Virgina/Flickr