Friday, November 6, 2009

The Lingering Taste…

I know I’m not the only one who gets cravings for indulgent meals from the past. You hear about it every day – people at work suddenly get the itch for a juicy, soft cheeseburger, those gooey chocolate chip cookies they just couldn’t put down, or the ever amorous chocolate covered strawberries. Why is it that it’s always the cookies or all the other things so bad for you linger in your minds? Sure, you’re eating healthy now. Maybe you’re even working out 3-4 times a week, like the doctor says. You are living your life in the food lane middle of the road. But all that wellness won’t do a lick of good when that need to stuff a whole pizza comes late at night. Some of the best foods, which almost always are some of the unhealthiest foods, tend to imprint themselves in your memories. Difficult to justify having, but even more impossible to forget, once in a while you have to admit you want something that’s just so bad it’s good.

Now, I’m not one to revisit the past too often, but I think we all at some point or another have had a meal that make us smile when we recall the memory. For me, it’s always those spicy, rich, amatory foods of Southwest Texas. Sure, if you walk down the right street in New York you can almost catch a hint of brisket spiced with jalapeños on the wind…but as quickly as it comes, it vanishes leaving me ruminating why I ever left in the first place. Did I really think New York was THAT much better that I would leave such a loving, attentive temptress like my favorite Tapatia nachos behind? How foolish could a young boy have been to flee from the arms of some of the most romantic and accepting foods he’s ever had?!

Science tells us that cravings are the body’s way of giving us a heads up on what we are missing. In other words, when our body is depleted in resources, such as sugar or serotonin, the brain needs a quick pick-me-up and so turns to satisfy itself with cravings. These primal lusts are no more than your body screaming to you what your mind can’t comprehend – you NEED it. But how strong are these cravings? How much power do you let them have over you? I often let my mind wander to meals past and relive the glory of the ordeal. That slight hint of cayenne, spicy yet playful, teasing my palette through a mélange of cheese, cumin and sage. I ponder the kitchen, where flavor melds to smell, sensation unites with satisfaction and from whence this rapturous affair found its origin.

Alas…imagining is never enough. Sometimes, you just have to give in. Sometimes you have to listen to what your body’s telling you. Sometimes…you need to just need to eat the cookie and get it off your mind.

It’s ok to swerve in the food lane just a little.

- The UE

1 comment:

viridiansun said...

you're on some nasty isht here buddy
can't pinpoint it
probably best
but i'm on to you!