A Paean to Food

I’m not sure I’ve ever met a person who “eats to live”, if I have I can guarantee that we had a very short conversation.

It is hard to imagine when you watch the crude repasts cobbled together by the contestants on Survivor or Naked and Afraid that someone back in the day figured out that you could eat an artichoke. And the person who created a nice Aioli from that stinking bulb frankly deserves sainthood.

In fact I think that we should honor all the brave souls who, during the birth of civilization, said “Hmmm, we should eat this”.

And let’s not forget the Nomad who, some 4,000 years ago, tied a pouch of milk to his horse’s neck and rode along during the heat of the day. When he checked it later it had become the yellow, creamy bovine manna that we call butter. There is no greater gift.

Of course some things were obvious, a bright red strawberry exuding a caramel-like aroma, sweet creamy corn, or a tree bursting with fragrant, tart apples. Sorry Eve.

But it took determination and fast hands to capture and taste the first lobster. And butter, which thankfully was already being churned on a daily basis thanks to a certain nomad.

Food is a memory unlike any other. Long after you’ve forgotten the details of the cobblestone side streets in Perugia, the thought of that omelet served with shaved truffles the size of Oreos takes you back to an Etruscan sunbathed ancient world.

When we celebrate anything we do it with food. Graduation? A steak dinner. Tonsils out? Ice cream. Birthday? Cake. Baby shower? Pink or blue cake. Home alone on New Year’s Eve? About $300 worth of groceries.

When I eat something I particularly enjoy I find myself humming and rocking back and forth. Which is basically saying that I do yoga while consuming the bitter, salty, sour, sweet, umami tastes of food, glorious food.

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