Tuesday, January 17, 2012

With Just Fat and Flour, Life Goes On...

How often do we think about the use of all of our 5 senses when cooking and eating? Think about it, most people are mainly concerned with taste, the flavor of the food they are cooking and/or eating. Some people will think about both smell and taste. But how many of us consider our other senses just as important? How our food feels to the touch, how it sounds when we bite down on it, and how it looks. I think those senses are just as important as the first two.

I have always justified my picky palate as having do with my "issue with texture". I do have a love-hate relationship with food when it comes to texture. That is one of the main reasons that I am a mostly-vegetarian. Something can absolutely taste fantastic, but if it does not look appetizing, or has an unappealing texture to me, I will wish not to continue eating it. The sound of food is sometimes overshadowed, or non-existent. But there are certain foods that immediately come to mind, such as oysters are not appetizing to me simply by the way they sound when being eaten, or slurped out of their shell. Asparagus, if cooked right, have a very appetizing sound of a crisp crunch to the bite.

I got to thinking about all of this after watching a movie recently. The movie is called Perfect Sense. It's main stars are portrayed as a chef and a scientist who fall in love amid the worldwide spread of a disease that slowly robs people of their senses, one by one. The chef is forced to deal with life, and life as a chef, at first with no sense of smell. The next sense to go is taste. And the chef learns to adapt his cuisine to focus on texture and sound. Fascinating. He is not willing to give up on the joys of life and simply provide his diners with just fat and flour. With this onset of human devastation, life goes on.

And so without giving away too much of the movie, though you can probably imagine what happens next, the chef is ultimately reduced to the very basics of life and cooking - fat and flour. But life does go on....

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