salt and pepper

Source: Alberto Mantilla

If indeed the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, surely then, the way to a woman’s heart is to fully charge her store card…? I’m joking of course – for me anyway – as the way to my heart has also been proven to be through my stomach (although I would take a ready interest in shoes were they to be offered). A former waitress with an inner fat kid, an appreciative diner of anything cooked by my best foodie friend, Laura, a frequenter of Emson Kitchen – a little known home restaurant in Maida Vale – and an advocate of anything, except olives, on a plate; food is my other love. Being a lady who lunches is my 1st but we’ll call it a tie.

Having a lack of human interaction in my 9 to 5, my days are beginning to revolve around food. More than before that is. I’ll break for lunch after this paragraph, after this email, in time for The News (read: Loose Women). Life hunting (job hunting for the uninitiated) is a little like studying for exams; it carves up your day and takes up all of your mental capacity but nobody has told you when your exam is or quite what might be covered on it, but I digress. The food cycle of What can I do with the block of feta and the lone onion in my fridge? Will my body accept another student fare dinner of pasta and arrabiatta sauce? …I said food was my first love, I didn’t say it inspired me to challenge Nigella.

What importance we lend to the simple act of breaking bread. It’s an opportunity to see friends, celebrate an occasion, start a relationship, break up a day, but ultimately to fulfill a need: ya gotta eat!

From home restaurants (think Rachel Khoo with her French flat and lippie) to our fascination with first Rick Stein and Delia to Jamie Oliver, The Hairy Bikers and Great British Bake Off. Pop up restaurants and farmers markets, brunch and supper, the holiday season that we have just waddled through: the crushing number of things to enjoy! And all the people to enjoy them with! People are people people, and what is more about people than being around a table.

That said, perhaps I’m just tailgating on the cresting wave of foodies who know the location of their nearest Providoré, won’t touch a salame unless it is imported and know where to find sherry served by the 100ml, as while eating with friends is cool, on the average weeknight family dinners don’t seem to be, if the stats are to be believed. Before we were a developed country whatever food there was, was dished up around a table (the musical Oliver leads me to believe). Now that we have an abundance of food perhaps we are taking for granted that eating a meal still has the ability to bring not just friends, but families, together.

Perhaps food is less important to us overall now that we have it in spades? We grow our own, watch food porn, buy cookbooks, ask what’s for dinner and yet apparently we throw away 10% of our weekly food shop. I think it’s fair to say that gourmet is all good, but what is food without someone to enjoy it with? Unseasoned.


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