The Arizona Republic
‘Komatke,’ home to an old mission, certainly exists
Clay is off this week. Here’s a column first published Dec. 27, 2007: Today’s question:
I was watching the Weather Channel for our local weather, and the map showed a town called Komatke near Phoenix. I’ve lived here since 1965 and never heard of this place. What is there? Well, I haven’t been here quite that long, but I’m a bit embarrassed to report that I’d never heard of it, either. I had, however, heard of its main attraction.
Komatke is an unincorporated spot on the Gila River Reservation with a population of around 1,200, give or take a bit. It is the home of the St. John’s Catholic Mission, a Franciscan institution founded in 1901 by three Sisters of St. Joseph who came north from Tucson by stagecoach to get to work.
It’s on St. John’s Mission Road just west of South 51st Avenue.
According to Will Barnes’ Arizona Place Names, Komatke is a Pima word meaning “a blue hazy mountain.” At one time the word was considered as the name for the South Mountain Preserve.
Why it was on the Weather Channel map I cannot say.
Have you ever noticed that the meat at some supermarkets is marked either “enhanced with up to a 10 percent solution” for the beef and “deep based with up to a 13 percent solution” for the pork? A solution of what? And why?
I’d never heard of that before, but then I hardly ever read the labels on food that I buy. No point in scaring myself anymore than I already am.
“Enhanced,” sometimes called “deep marinated,” means that the beef, chicken or pork has been treated with a solution of water and salt and other stuff to make it more flavorful and moist.
It’s the result of the trend to make meat leaner and is meant to restore the flavor lost by removing the fat.
So if the label says the product is 10 percent enhanced, that means that 10 percent of its weight is this solution stuff, mostly water. I think I’d just as soon marinate stuff myself. Reach Clay at 602-444-8612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.