As a lifelong dieter, I’ve become curious about why certain foods seem so irresistible to me.
Maybe it’s the color. Apparently colorful things, while appealing on the plate, are not my heart’s desire. I like white things. And maybe pale yellow things. Starches. Breads….rice…pasta… Maybe that’s why Adkins works well on me. (Temporarily.) Cut out the thing I can eat in the highest volumes. Add bananas and cheese to the white and yellow list. And butter.
It could very well be the smells. My mom’s bean soup….or her chili. Bacon. Anyone’s. I love the smell of coffee brewing in the morning so much that at one point I put a little 4-cup drip coffee maker in my bathroom upstairs so I wouldn’t have to wait to go downstairs to smell it. It made crappy coffee, so I never drank it, but I felt as though I had.
Is there a texture attraction? Nah. I am an equal opportunity texture person. With the possible exception of grainy or rubbery, I can go with smooth, crunchy, creamy, buttery….wait – that’s not a texture. It’s not that.
The most obvious attraction should be the flavor, right? The list of flavors I enjoy would be so so so long, that it may be simpler to name the foods (I’ve tried) whose flavor I didn’t like. I can only think of two. (1) Liver. (2) Nattō (なっとう or 納豆?), which is the Japanese equivalent to Cream of Wheat for breakfast. Fermented soybeans. Ick. I love beef tongue, oysters, escargots…things that get at least a mixed reaction from others. So flavor is too general.
Perhaps it’s the occasion. Cake, for example, is generally associated with a celebration for me. As is wine and champagne. Peanut butter and jelly is always comforting to me. Pizza requires a TV. Root beer floats on a Sunday night to go with Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and the Wonderful World of Disney. Beer is the classic beverage for casual gatherings with friends. No wonder I crave it. Maybe it’s actually the friends I crave….
One of my favorite foods is simply popcorn with butter. I’ll bet that’s because I associate it with my favorite people and my favorite times. Cozy relaxed times. Hearty laughing. Empathetic sobbing. Great movies. Heck…lame movies. It’s all good.
We try never to miss a crab feed. Is it the crab? Maybe not. It’s a hoot to spend a whole evening disassembling those crazy crustaceans with a crowd of wine-soaked people with melted butter up to their wrists… In fact, we’ve made this our new Christmas Eve tradition. A family crab feed. It rocks.
Bacon in the morning means we have time that day.
That’s it. Truth is, the thing that makes foods truly delicious, is the perfect situation surrounding it. The people. The mood. The memories. The hope that the food we had then will coax it to happen again.
It’s life that’s delicious.