Tuesday, 13 March 2012
TT: Feelings of Food
Sorry, today is photo light (none at all) and word heavy - hope you don't mind my eagerness to divulge the English language.
I really do live to eat, I would never eat to simply live. Food for me is heaven, it's utopia, it's a sanctuary where life is carefree and wonderful. Food for me is a way of living. If there is anything I feel passion for - it is food. Food is more than a substance. I believe in feeding the soul - if you give your body good foods of course your body will thank you for it.
Ok, so I'm not a health junkie - actually I'm much the opposite. I will eat whatever excites the tastebuds. Yeah, on occasions that may include pork crackling, lashings of butter, deep fried everything and moreish-able snacks. But I believe in quality food. To value and understand what you are eating, to be ethical, to be conscious of what's on your plate. This doesn't mean some weird scientific way of picking out your food; more than that all you need is to love what you are eating - to have an open mind. To explore all kinds of flavours. And what's more I truly believe in wholesome foods. In unpretentious home cooked meals, in traditional recipes and simple ingredients.
If there is anything I am open to it is food! I'm not going to shun the humble cheap stew nor would I shun Michelin miniscule proportion food. My bucket list includes dining at the top five restaurants of the world! And the one thing that makes me jealous of relationships - dinner dates - nothing else - just the whole couple at a fancy restaurant thing - but not for the intimacy; for my stomach ;) Anyway...
I think we need a balance. I cannot stand stuck up nosey upper class people who speak of food as if everything is worthless unless it's a uppity pretentious restaurant. Then on the other scale - I cannot stand those who don't see the point in spending money on quality food on occasions; who live their lives in a box never allowing their mouths to taste something new, never knowing the value and diversity of food.
What I like most about food is the emotions it can create. You might be wallowing in sadness for a long lost love, or a bad day but take a spoon and some ice cream and a block of decadent chocolate and suddenly life seems that little bit better. Or, you might taste an old recipe, a dish from your childhood and on that first bite you are suddenly eight again - you are reminiscing of a simple time. Maybe you once ate a meal that didn't agree with you and the next time the smell lingers in the air suddenly all that uneasiness sets back in. As humans we connect particular events, feelings and moments with food. That is what makes it so special.
Unlike anything else food fuels you - it has the ability to cause emotions you never realised. Ok, yeah maybe right now my closest relationship is with the jar of nutella on my bedside table (am I joking...? you'll never know!) But that spoon full of guilty pleasure is just that - a little taste of happiness. I feel lucky enough right now to eat whatever I want to - yeah I know that is going to catch up on me one day but for now let me indulge in the world of food. I'm dreading the day my cholesterol hits an all time high and I begin to grow horizontally but right now I'm taking advantage of my youthful metabolism and diets are simply contraband.
Simple foods from my childhood are delicious to even think of - plain rice porridge, chicken soup, grandma's stew, the family Sunday roast (whatever happened to the good old days?), the special recipes reserved for Chinese New Year, Easter and Australia day. It is all so wholesome, nothing fancy and yet when you eat those meals, all the weights are lifted - you can forget all your worries just for a moment you are free.
Then there are the new traditions - the experiments I have attempted, the new meals that have become a favourite, the regular order at the local restaurants, the dishes we yearn for in our sleep, the recipes being passed down the generations.
Then there are meals you even associate with a time or place - fish and chips on the beach, a barbeque in the park, a sandwich during school lunch breaks.
We even travel the world in search of those famous tastes. Cheesecake in New York, a baguette in Paris, a curry in India, cheese in Switzerland, meat pies in England, pizza in Italy and ramen in Japan. You cannot say food is not important. Even more so - we cannot take food for granted. Those of us lucky enough to grow up in developed countries have always had food given to us everyday - to never know the feeling of starvation. Think of those less privileged. For them food is rare, for them food is just to live. So never complain for what you are given could be deemed a miracle for some.
My love of food correlates to my love of chefs - but we won't go there because it gets a little creepy and I like to keep my emotions in check. But seriously celebrities like Jamie Oliver are the people I love. They cook not for the fame, they cook to give - they cook to educate, to instill passion and to teach the world the value of this thing that we all so vitally need. A new addition to the plethora of chefs and cooks on my radar - The Baker Brothers - Henry and Tom Herbert - check them out. A butcher and a baker with foody hearts on their sleeves - they talk of food like poets talk of love.
So I think I've portrayed my feelings of food rather clearly. In all my life I will never say no to a new dish, a strange ingredient - I'll give it a go because you only live once and what's the point of standing still? Treat food with respect - worship every spoon for it is not just a necessity,it is apart of your life's patchwork.
George Bernard Shaw once said "there is no love sincerer than the love of food" - and he'd be right!
I'll be back for fashion Friday with more photos, less words.