The Arizona Republic

‘Ko­matke,’ home to an old mis­sion, cer­tainly ex­ists

- Iceland · The Today Show · The Weather Channel (US) · Phoenix · Saint John · Tucson · Belarus · St. John · Arizona · Austria · Komatke, Arizona · St. Joseph · Pima, AZ

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 clay.thomp­son@ari­zonare­pub­

 ??  ?? Val­ley 101 Clay Thomp­son Ari­zona Repub­lic USA TODAY NET­WORK
Val­ley 101 Clay Thomp­son Ari­zona Repub­lic USA TODAY NET­WORK

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