A Taste of France

I remember the incident. I was invited to my friend Monique's apartment to have lunch and “oh by the way, my friend Sylvie is in town, would you like to come over and have lunch with us. She is wonderful and she likes Americans.” I'm still not sure if this was a set-up but it had that taste.

My French was poor; her English was good. I made an effort to communicate in French which, I'm sure, she found amusing. My language skills were weak but that was to be expected. It did not reflect on my viability as a human; I was making an effort. That was good. We were getting to know one another. Thank you Monique.

Lunch is served! Monique was quite a good cook and the table set with love and affection. The food was brought out in courses with plenty of time to enjoy the food and ... conversation. To what will the dinner table conversation drift in France between the newly acquainted? Food! And it seemed like such an innocuous start; we were getting along so well.

Sylvie began to discuss the meal with Monique, some in French and a lot in English. What she quickly discovered went to the core of my being. I could not tell the difference between chicken and turkey. I did not know which spices were used to season the food, nor the names of the different varieties of lettuce in the salad. In short, I had been living and eating for more years than I would like to admit without ever bothering to smell or taste what I put in my mouth. What kind of a person can live, eating every day, and never really pay attention? I'm afraid the answer is not particularly flattering.

Humans have 5 generally recognized senses and I am forced to admit that I have been ignoring 2 of them (taste and smell). Two out of five! That is forty percent of my bodies interaction with its physical surroundings and I'm ignorant! I am both astounded and embarrassed. This dog doesn't have a very good sense of taste or smell or even an awareness that it is part of life. Hum.

This is not like sports; lots of women do not care to follow the details whatever the game. Sports are a diversion. OK, he's good at math and science, at least it pays well. But someone who does not know how to eat!? That is life itself. She had met someone who could not share the basic pleasures of life itself. Not very impressive.

Ah, cultural diversity. I had never been rejected on the grounds that I could not smell or taste very well. That was a humbling experience! Just how aware can a person be if they reject 40% of life's experiences. Not very. I taste my food now; I smell what is in the air. My life is better, so is my cooking. This old dog can still learn a new trick.
Thank you Sylvie. I still think you are cute.

1 comment:

  1. From your smallest french friend: I think it is good to taste but to consume, it is better. Then, what are you waiting?