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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

what do you love about food?

Food makes my life beautiful.

Food is coming home from work tired and digging into a moist piece of chocolate filled banana bread made by my room mate. It is a time to take a break from the day and enjoy life.

Food is salty, oily smoked salmon sliding between my finger tips and gliding through my lips into my mouth. It is corn on the cob crunching between my teeth and getting stuck in the crevices. It is a perfectly aged blue cheese, falling apart in my hands and landing on my tongue, as pungent aromas make their way up my nose.

I love food because it is a part of life I can connect to.

Tonight, when I walked through the doors of St.Lawrence Market to a table lined with wine glasses and a giant basket of apples with a sign that read "Help yourself", I knew I belonged.

The event was an evening of local cuisine, and consisted of a room filled with local chefs, food, farmers and wineries. There was even an Iron Chef style cooking competition held on stage.

I enjoy eating locally as a way of connecting to my food as well as the environment. Tonight was a perfect example of how good local food can taste, and how good it feels to know exactly where it's coming from.

It wasn't long before I was digging into smoked trout crackers with a ginger yoghurt and cheese mousse and talking to the chefs that put it together. I sauntered from table to table, sampling local wines, roasted beet and goat cheese crostini, olives, roasted squash with peccorino and herbs, locally made salsa and tortilla chips, and other tongue pleasing treats.

As I passed a bread and cheese table I spotted someone I recognized. It was my favourite professor from my course on the geography of food (I can't believe I'm allowed to take something so interesting). He is witty, knowledgable, hilarious, and more importantly, loves food.

We spent the rest of the evening talking about food, food writing, travel and food, and other delicious subjects. He told me about a food writer he heard speak, a woman who had worked as a lawyer, until one day she broke down crying and realized she wasn't doing what she loved. Now she travels around the world, tasting and writing, with her husband and two children. I realized that I do have a place in the world, and that I can find a job that I enjoy if I listen to my heart and my stomach.

After many glasses of local wine, I said goodnight and took off home with a bag full of goodies. Walking home I passed several homeless people, all of which happily accepted a crisp local apple, and one who was very happy to accept a bag of bright local tortilla chips.

Again, why do I love food? Because it connects me to people. I love to share food, to feed those I love, and enjoy one of life's greatest pleasures with other people.

I love food because that's what it is, a pleasure, and I can enjoy it every day.

"The first thing we become convinced of is that man is organized so as to be far more sensible of pain than of pleasure."
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

Wow, a beautiful post once again, Gillian... Thank you for sharing your thoughts, for writing them out here in such a lovely way. Sounds like you had a great time -- and it sounds like my kind of thing too! I'm realizing more and more how much I enjoy the experience of food too, so I see exactly what you mean. And it's so obvious that you have a very generous, rich soul, and that you are so wonderful with others. What an incredibly thoughtful thing to do, to share that food with the homeless people you saw.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

late bloomer- thank you! Have you ever thought of trying one of the Atelier des Chefs cooking classes in Paris? You should check them out! And maybe we will have to meet for a culinary adventure on my next visit!

9:03 PM  

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