How often are you asked to describe your most memorable meal? The meal you’d make for your true love? The “last meal” if you were unfortunate enough to know it was coming? The meal that transports you back to childhood in an instant? Blogs are rife with “describe your ____ meal” and I always answer them truthfully. The one question I’ve never been asked, however, is “What meal turned you into a “foodie”?” (I’ve come to dislike that term, it’s such a clunky term for what can be a joyous thing). Not necessarily the best meal, or the best restarant. Perhaps it was just a single dish that made you sit back, inhale, taste, smile, and realize that food is so much more than fuel.
For me, it was something so simple, you wouldn’t think it would warrant a description, but sometimes, that’s exactly what happens — it was a simple dish of warmed olives sprinkled with thype and rosemary, with a piece of hard cheese, and a basket of delicate pieces of foccacia, that made me sit up and take notice. I remember thinking, as I ate it “This is grown up food” and I was quite pleased with myself.
Here’s to simple dishes that make us nourished, entertained, nostalgic, slow and happy.