Over at Two Long Spoons, Sunshine Mugrabi has posted an excellent piece on rediscovering exciting food sensations, called “Eat Memory“. It very clearly sums up why I love degustation menus so much – it’s not about the “poshness” or anything silly like that’s, it’s about putting your trust in the work of a great chef and being prepared to try whatever comes out on the plate, regardless of whether you’d personally try to make it yourself, or deliberately order it if you were in a restaurant. What really sparked for me was her description of child-hood food:
Remember how, as a kid, food had a way of exploding in your mouth? The first lick of a vanilla ice cream cone on a hot summer day. A spoonful of tangy tomato soup. Burgers off the grill. When you’re young, food is loaded with flavor. Sometimes too much. The sharp bite of a raw onion, the slithery slime of overcooked spinach — all of this leads to such childhood behavior as slipping peas to the dog or hiding them surreptitiously in one’s napkin. But oh, the intensity! When you get older, it all dampens down. For me, it went almost to zero.
Good food is about so much more than whether it’s something you’d normally eat – it’s about combining taste, texture, smell, appearance and memory into each exquisite mouthful. If you want good food, the first thing you have to do is set aside any predefined prejudices you may have against certain foods, and be prepared to trust the chef.
Sunshine is a great writer – she does a great job writing about technology too, but I’m really equally loving how well she (no pun intended) shines when it comes to writing about food. I’d heartily recommend reading her article “Eat Memory“, then keeping it in mind next time you see an “odd” looking combination of food on a menu!