I’ve noticed over the past few years how my tastes in eating and dining out have changed. From a time when I sought an immediacy of flavor, long ago, through a period of wanting to be dazzled, and now, at least for now, a desire to eat without thinking about eating.
Who in their right mind gets analytical about an experience that is biologically pleasurable?
Let’s be honest: Any physical activity can be pleasurable, period. When it provides pleasure, you just give in to that sweet feeling that has, concomitantly, a psychological release bringing with it a way of forgetting the world’s pain and one’s demise. When it isn’t pleasurable, and is meant to be, one usually walks away. Or can walk away. Or should walk away.
I wonder if all the hubbub about food in this country, which is so different from discourse on the subject in other countries, is not so much an analysis of pleasure as about other matters.
For one thing, though it’s not analyzed much, ironically, the terms used to describe food’s production and cooking here are useful for marketing. They seem to create a differentiation when, in fact, there often isn’t one. Here are two easy examples: “Heirloom” tomatoes are all genetically the same; there is no biological basis either for the term “heirloom.” Here’s another: “Local” products have no meaning environmentally or economically. In fact, it would be better to fly products over as carbon emissions for jets are lower than for diesel trucks; and, the money would get to the developing world where it is needed.
So all that said: Skip the heirloom, local pork. Boil salted water. Add pasta. Finish in tomato sauce. Second course: Roll fish in wondra. Salt and pepper to taste. Pan sear in good olive oil. Serve with lemon.