Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A MATTER OF TASTE

 I’ve always been curious how personal tastes develop to determine one’s favorite foods.  Are we born with it, weaned into it, what lies at the core of our own particular taste affinities.  How does our upbringing, culture, industry, social standing, education, economy, geography or even our temperament affect our taste?  Why makes it stagnate, evolve or revert as we get older.  I am sure there are a myriad of influences that affect what we like to eat and I for one love the investigative work in understanding the nature of the food experience.

 

So let’s get real, I own a hot dog stand.  Yes, I love it!  So let me look at my own simple pleasures.   I love to eat street food, off carts, stands, markets, concessions, any place where it is an impulsive purchase, one that provides the chance for immediate gratification.  I’m talking about that preemptive smell, the in-your-face production, watching, waiting, the anxious anticipation.  No need to sit down, eat standing up, indulging in the moment of a fluid spontaneous event, almost erotic.  You could be on your way to a meeting, on lunch, in the midst of shopping or just roaming the streets.  You could be dressed in shorts, swimwear or better yet an evening dress or suit.  Perhaps you were hungry but maybe you already just had a meal, perhaps an elegant one that needed to be tempered with a more primal food experience.  In this case it isn’t totally about the food, sometimes for me it can be really nasty stuff, nasty good stuff!  I find the experience is like a portal, a window where time stops and pleasure, momentary pleasure is at hand.  Then you wake up and go along your way. Hours later, the eventual burp brings it all back again flooding you with food emotion and a gluttonous smile.

Wow, that was great just writing about it, whatzup with that!  I think that as a child eating on the go marked many events for me.  I was awarded for doctors appointments with hamburgers from street-side trailer stand, boring shopping trips downtown meant lunch at cafeterias, a visit to the neighborhood candy store was a ritual, the ice cream trucks during summer and hot dogs at the beach  meant summer vacation. The smells, the innocence and maybe the momentary escape from reality all played, play, a part in these food experiences.  Simple impulsive indulgent pleasures, that’s my ticket.  Look, I’m getting hungry again...

1 comment:

Larry said...

Ah, al fresco dining at its best...a street dog in manhattan..unfortunately, I'm talking 30years ago,,,,