Thursday, May 08, 2008

Eat, Me

After years of being relatively disinterested in food, I've discovered the joy of taste and texture.
I used to be very austere, choosing what to eat only by nutritional or caloric content. Food was an annoying, necessary blip in my routine of self-denial and control. Now, maybe because of travelling more frequently, I look forward to savouring the food in each new place I visit.
The trouble is, my stomach has turned out to be very delicate. After suffering cramps, headaches and bouts of vomiting as a result of meals in Asia, I've turned my newfound, fetishistic enthusiasm for eating to comfort food.
As a child, I ate bananas and sucked on plum pits during long car journeys. I ate only strawberries when I was sick and when playing in the countryside, picked wild blackberries and homegrown gooseberries and red currants. Southern summer Christmas dinners with my mother were finished with platters of succulent mango and fresh blueberries.
In Asia, I also rely on fruit as a staple – even if tropical fruit has probably given me more bugs than drinking the local water or eating bad seafood. When I'm alone and missing my boyfriend, I buy bunches of fresh lychees from the market; despite the fact that he hates them, their plump fleshiness reminds me of him.
Food is delicious sex when I'm either with or remembering my boyfriend but it's banal when I'm travelling alone and working. Then I eat only because of the need for routine sustenance. I sip clear soups and nibble rice. Every second day, I have teppanyaki at a well-known Japanese steak and seafood chain. I sit by myself, reading emails on my Blackberry. I order onion soup, vegetables and teryaki salmon. When I'm busy or tired, I get room service to bring me plain steamed vegetables.
After a while, I begin to crave richer foods. I long to share them with my man. When we dine together, any work- or food-related anxieties dissipate. Eating becomes a sensual experience again and an entree to what I miss most about him after a long absence.

1 comment:

The Barking Unicorn said...

"Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.
But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother’s milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship.
And let your board stand an altar on which the pure and the innocent of forest and plain are sacrificed for that which is purer and still more innocent in man."