What is food to you? , to me? , to us?
As our personal socioeconomic status rises , we tend to take food as pleasure.
I remember those winter evenings in The UK when what I really fancy was a night at some nice expensive restaurant down Knightsbridge maybe some Moroccan stew, or Lobster bouillabaisse but end up at my friend's kebab place having greasy chips and ketchup.
Time has certainly changed and nowadays i don't have to eat anything because I need to eat it, I choose my food even at the hungriest I know what i want to eat.
Just like on the relationship department...it's not really easy to win a woman's heart and we women...don't take any second best ...err, maybe.
But the question of socioeconomic status and personal preference is really a question that is playing with my mind especially after knowing that my grandfather is still having the same breakfast of kopi o literally translated as Black coffee with roti pat segi or known as cream crackers.this is the man who have gone through several level of economic status going uphill since 1929 (sorry tok wan, for revealing your real age).
I take food insanely serious, I have a food diary and sometimes I kiss the pictures of some food in my computer,they are times when I munch some delicious chocolate cookies I even make a vow that I would marry that cookie if it were a living form.That is a form of pleasure...the excitement of going to my favourite restaurant is the same like meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend for a date...(I know, someone in the Uk thinks I need help for my infatuation with cooking, table setting , entertaining and eating and yes... washing them plates too, only in my house of course... because my plates are pretty )
How pleasureable?it is measured with our greed and wants.
For some of my friends-chefs who take their jobs as serious they tend to eat less then me, and spent less too.
It is strange to me because for me food is more than fuel it is the entire experience from view , touch and tantalise to my palate.
The explosion of taste , the feeling of being on something lush -like I mentioned to my friend just now...everytime I eat my own dish even the one that is incredibly simple- chocolate pudding, it is equal to the sensation of buying new designer's shoes, sleeping on a bed of roses or even better 100 ringgit notes or buying a new perfume.
These are my fuel- things that inspires me to work harder ...
I work hard for my tongue, I love to taste with my tongue teaching it to be more adventurous and fun- for some people it could be watching movies,driving the fastest car ,reading the greatest writers work,spending money on a night out, buying speedboats...for me it's the palate of my tongue, the pure pleasure of eating- either celebrating nothing with friends while talking about nothingness over tapas, dim sum , long table,posh cakes at the posh chocolate shop or simply my own homemade chicken soup in front of the tele watching my favorite sitcom...these are the moment when I feel like nothing can harm me I am being protected in an imaginary pink bubble , I feel totally relaxed and happy being in that bubble of extreme happiness.
Then, in the middle of writing this, I learnt that the word Extreme happiness is the key.
The changes of our economic background, if yesterday we were a busboy and many years after an F&B manager, a chambering student and now a top lawyer...one thing never or hardly change is our favourite food , little things name it cheap or expensive as I learnt the layer of our palate , I learnt the biggest thing, we are different but we are the same, what you taste as good might not be good to me... and hell , i can't be having the same breakfast everyday like my grandfather.But one fact that is true the prices does not matter. I am a food snob that would never think twice about going back for my toast and kopi at helen's shop or even her mee soup where I was given the full authority by my late father to order my own food, I felt like an adult at the time! that sensation of munching on my kaya toast or slurping my noodles soup is the sweetest experience ever, the look of my proud fatherof his little girl with a perfect table manner is still fresh in my mind and no chocolate cake ,souffles,caviar or even my favourite lobster up until today could beat that sweetness of time -our memory of what is good and what not.Expensive and sophisticated name and design of a dish or restaurant means nothing if it is tasteless, at the end we still go to a restaurant to be satisfied.Our hunger and thirst for nourishment of joy need to be fulfilled.FULL STOP
Maybe we should make a point to learn our childhood favourite dishes and eat it where we feel like it.it would bring more humility into us that in this material world...not everything comes in a large price tag, experience of eating our favorite food from our kitchen , made with our hands are indeed very cheap compared to thejoy it would bring to us.Don't forget to close your eyes while munching it while thinking of your favourite childhood memory.For rich or for poor...Food for all :)
Live, laugh , learn, love... cook and be merry...