I rarely “scarf” down anything. Instead, I savor eating opportunities. I look forward to robust flavors and interesting textures. I like eating experiences — where food doesn’t just fill you, it also engages your senses and invigorates your palate. I like it when macaroni and cheese isn’t just macaroni and cheese. It is the best. fucking macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.
In referring generally to “food”, I don’t mean just any ol’ edible. I mean those most decadent, most savory, and most satisfying of morsels. Those meals where dinner conversation is measured by the clicks and clangs of silverware against porcelain plates and bowls and shit. I mean those meals where cats is like, “mmm… mmm. oh…ohoh….” Better than a fresh two piece from Popeye’s when the strawberry jam is available. Better than the best crabcake Ruby Tuesday’s can conjure. Indeed, better than your average “best.”
Self aware asshole that I
am can be, I feel some kinda way admitting that I actually am one of those. It feels like copping to being into green and white tea circa 2007, and pomegranate in 2009 — it feels trendy. And I don’t really do trendy like that. Being a “foodie” was so 2010. But there’s really no better way to describe my love affair with food. And it is an affair — it’s emotional and shit. Shortribs braised for hours in red wine and savory aromatics strum the chords to the tune in my soul.
I go in for food — for selecting it, preparing it, and presenting it. I spend more time than necessary picking out bread. Cause I like soft buns… …. Cause I squeeze a loaf’s girth and inhale its essence to see if its energy matches mine — to see if we can make good sandwiches together. To see — if I toast it, and lather it in good butter, if I’ll go “mmm… mmm. oh, ohoh.”
Savory is my thing. Buttery, salty, fatty, spicy, broiled, grilled, baked, fried — and to perfection? Is perfection. And, perfection is requisite in these situations. Anything less cheats the experience. Deep in my heart, I believe that happy cows don’t give their lives to end up well-done. Stiff and gray beside mashed potatoes and previously frozen vegetables 0n a cracked plate.
The Main Ingredient
is love. Don’t serve me nothing you didn’t love making. Cause I can taste disdain. And I’d just rather have eaten somewhere else, where I would expect that the cat cooking my food didn’t give a shit about whether or not I’d like it. Food without love is like greens made at the wrong woman’s house — missing something, not quite right. Not respectable at all.
And then there’s salt. You don’t need to up your ante for hypertension with it. But you do need to season your food. Go aggressive or go home.
Yes, the pièce de résistance of dining can be dessert, and it can be equally as satisfying as your main course. You musn’t be fooled by too-sweet sweets covering for lackluster ass ingredients though. Sweet potato pie and peach cobbler should taste like a marriage of butter and appropriate spices, gorgeous sweet potatoes, and firm ripe peaches. Crusts should be light and flaky, buttery, and little bit salty. Peaches should be ripe, and maybe a little bit tart. To arouse your taste buds a bit — to make you wanna go back for that bite. over and over again.
I don’t know that I can trust cats who “eat to live.” There are healthy ways to eat delicious things. And there’s moderation too, so you can still get that fat fix eventually. Food, prepared well, is an event — a delicious event that deserves a certain degree of respect. I feel unsafe in the care of cats who dismiss the hedonistic goodness of food, opting for whatever’s available. I’m deeply troubled by one’s’ inability or unwillingness to distinguish that shit between McDonald’s buns from a finely crafted burger. I mean, you can food slum. But you also can’t be acting like that kinda shit is cool just on GP. Make no mistake, a quarter pounder with cheese is food slumming. And that black angus bullshit isn’t exempt either.
The Final Bite
is like the kiss goodbye. Don’t you wanna savor the moment? Maybe it’s me. I like to finish strong. The best piece of this, the best piece of that. One last tryst with the pan sauce, one more dip in ketchup. Final bites, final chews. If it’s my day and I’m livin golden and shit, I managed to save a crispy bit — the last good fries, the charred and meatyfatty piece of a steak. Crafting excellent final chews and final bites is a skill. It takes careful planning, some attention and a little practice. Cause shit gets mad tender at the end. But you know you did it right if, when you fold your dinner napkin over your finished plate, you crave that ciggie in your afterglow.