Tuesday, April 28, 2009

mindful eating

"Italian food is not delicious for its fussiness or complexity, but for the opposite reason: it's simple... Simple cuisine does not mean spare, however. An Italian meal is like a play with many acts, except that if you don't watch it, you'll be stuffed to the gills before intermission. It took us a while to learn to pace ourselves... Whether it's in the country or in the town, frequented by tourists or office workers or garage workers or wedding guests, a sit-down restaurant in Italy aims for you to sit down and stay there. Steven and I immediately began to wonder if we would fit into the airplane seats we had booked for our return in two weeks. How is it possible that every citizen in Italy does not weigh three hundred pounds? They don't, I can tell you.
By observing our neighbors we learned to get through the marathon of lunch (followed by the saga of dinner) by accepting each course as a morsel... If a particular course was a favorite it was fine to take more, but in most cases, a few bites became the norm. Then slow chewing, and joy. Watching Italians eat (especially men, I have to say) is a form of tourism the books don't tell you about. They close their eyes, raise their eyebrows into accent marks, and make sounds of acute appreciation...
The point of eating one course at a time, rather than mixing them all on a single loaded plate, seems to be an opportunity to concentrate one's attention on each flavor, each perfect ingredient, one uncluttered recipe at a time. A consumer trained to such mindful ingestion would not darken the door of a sports bar serving deep-fried indigestibles. And consumption controls the market, or so the economists tell us..."

From Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

1 comment:

  1. this is....EXACTLY what I was talking about at dinner. Eating as an art form.