Archive for October 2008

Food Thoughts

October 30, 2008

I’ve been pondering recently what it is about food that I find so compelling. Why it is important aside from providing sustenance in my life? One of the things that I keep coming back to is the power of food and food-related situations for making connections and creating, building, and deepening relationships. I realize that sitting down to a meal is not the only time when connections occur, but the sheer fact that eating helps form the basic structure of our days surely is an indication of how significant it truly is.

If I think about it, the meals that have meant the most to me have real context and meaning, it was not so much about the food, but about the people involved and the occasion. I surely have my own preferences when it comes to eating, but most important for me is a sense of togetherness, of camaraderie, of sharing, of opening up of your heart and oftentimes your home. I suppose part of this must be a function of the fact that I grew up in a household that stressed the importance of family meals. And as I have moved out into the world on my own, I seek that sense of belonging around the table as I share a meal with others. Many of my happiest moments are those times when I have felt such sense of  togetherness with the other people at the table. As you travel through life meeting acquaintances, friends, and lovers for a bite, remember the importance of the meal and perhaps think a little bit more deeply about its role in your life.

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Foodie Crushes

October 24, 2008

So I’ve recently come up with a new term to describe a phenomenon in my life. There’s a joke amongst my friends that I have a crush on every guy I ever meet, which it has to be said is probably true, but I like to think it’s because I see the good parts in people and it intrigues me. That’s not at all to say that it ever (hardly ever) translates into my actually dating these guys I may be crushing on, nor that I particularly want to. Recently, however, this appreciation of the opposite sex seems to be on a more focused track, such that I am now officially designating a whole class of crushes as “foodie crushes.” When I first tried to describe this to my sister, she did not understand it at all, but then again this may be because she’s not a foodie and so connections made in, around, through food are not nearly as important to her.

Here’s the part that may make you laugh, although some of these new foodie crushes in my life are people that I can legitimately say are my friends, others are more often people that I come into contact with when I’m out in search of a great foodie experience, i.e. people working in restaurants. Whether it be the waiter who shows an in depth knowledge of the food and possesses an adept means of expressing this, or the staff in the kitchen pouring out their hearts and souls (or so I like to believe) into the food so that you can have a wonderful meal. Expression through the medium of food. This is an interesting and provocative topic, and one that I am so intrigued by. Again, it comes back to this underlying idea that I have that food is an expression of self, that it reveals your identity, that it can even show you things about yourself and the people around you (both good, bad, and indifferent) that you hadn’t known before. So, when I meet or see someone who seems as engrossed by food as I am, I’m drawn to them, I want to know more, I want to explore who they are in and around a meal, and I’m hoping that those people who work in food wouldn’t mind. Someday I may actually work out a way of asking these people more about themselves, of trying to sit down with them at a table, of seeing who they really are. But for now, I am caught up in admiration mainly from afar. What I want is to connect through food, but I’m often too shy or afraid to do anything about it, instead I’m left simply dreaming about it, and remembering times when it’s happened in the past.