“The Honest Cook’s Insomnia
Brimful of good advice on not only cooking but also reading (by way of analogy).
Don’t be smug about outdated foods.
Remember, even iceberg lettuce
was once thought elegant. However
much of an innovator you imagine
yourself to be, our time’s tastes will
express themselves through you,
and cooks who come after will
scratch their heads. The 1970s was
mad for Swiss-style cheese fondue,
the 1980s for Italy’s sun-dried tomatoes,
such reaching after European dash
looks rather quaint against
the current mania for Asian fusion.
You will always feel nostalgic
for your first exposure to revelatory
flavors. Though you later realize
that your “discovery” was part
of a culture-wide zeitgeist,
your memory will grant you
authorship rights and a pat on
the back for your “innate” good taste.
Taste, like experience, feels individual
but is more often than not shared.
Food is culture. Eating or cooking
will fill the soul with lasting nourishment.
Which whets the appetite and returns us to the opening: “It’s best to start with desire.”
Even the table of contents looks like a menu.
And so for day 2355