What will you be tasting today? Just when you think you’ve eaten it all, here come magical foods.
I’ve always been a little envious of Persephone: she gives her overprotective mother the slip, finds herself a silver fox in Hades and gets to visit the Underworld ~ a whole other realm in the universe ~ thereby securing the knowledge that the dead transform and live on. Delicious!
But, the thing that sticks with me the most about her is the magical property of the food she eats in the otherworldliness of her story. She managed nothing more than a few pomegranate seeds in her sojourn with Hades, but they were enough to ensure she would miss her marital home, littered as it was with damp and darkness, if she left. Personally, I’m not so sure that a seed that is 50% woodchip would woo me into wanting to stay put in the dankness, even given hot Hades, but, hey, it worked for them.
So, Persephone half-starves with her seeds while Miss Havisham sits for years staring at the decay of her wedding breakfast, never having nibbled the joy of that symbolic meal she sets about a punishing regime in starving herself of all other available sources of love. Meanwhile, Alice shrinks and expands depending on the delicacy in front of her that comes complete with a bossy little imperative attached.
And Coraline is offered dinner~breakfast~food by her Other Father, seduced by the idea that she doesn’t have to eat her greens like she is encouraged to back in the real world, she thereby allows her Other Mother to employ the old adage the way to a [hu]man’s heart is through the stomach and, for a while, Coraline is ensnared. Then there was that apple. Well done, Eve! Following that, there was that other apple ~ don’t do it, Snow White! Surrounded by so many consumables with so many transformative consequences, it can be a tricky old decision what to have for tea.
I’ve recently discovered a packet of blue raspberry flavoured foam sweets shaped liked mushrooms (I know, hard to imagine a more natural food product!) sold by Spar (I know!) that taste so ‘solventy’ that they make me a little heady. But, a little less chemically enhanced favourite of mine are chestnuts with their firm clay texture and yielding give. What joy. And the fact that they are pulled steaming from an old school oven transports me into the world of steam punk heroine for a moment, complete with corset and hat.
And so to an adventing musing … Which foods, then, transform you and transport you to more joyous places?
This is a great one for sharing with work colleagues and friends to get those memories awakened and help you settle on what’s for tea tonight (we are Northern – it’s tea here!). For a moment, cast aside all those foods you’ve been ‘convinced’ you want to eat by advertisements, supermarket psychologies and popular media. Now, which foods transport you? We are aiming for those you’ve totally forgotten about, the ones that don’t get prime selling position on the shelves, that aren’t editorial, that are simpler, elemental or only one person in the world can make that food taste that way. Think of the pleasure foods that other people don’t understand or find purgatorial – I’m a huge fan of dark rye Ryvita! Ok, so my little bit of magic might not be your little bit of magic and that’s ok but the food that magically transports you ~ that’s what you are feasting on at some point today. Mmmmm, dinner~breakfast~food!
Share with us the food you had forgotten about enjoying. We are always around to share a moment of joy.
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