Ode to Food

Food is happiness. They say you can’t buy it, but it is amazing how much food affects my moods for the better. There are so many wonderful flavors and combinations of flavors that there is both endless variety and consistent comfort to be found in food. I am definitely on the sweet side of taste preferences in that I eat mostly sweeter things and will reach for a sweet snack long before a salty one. However, salty, spicy, sour, and umami are all delicious as well. I have found that I am not hugely fond of bitter things, which is where most of my aversions come from. Still, there is very little on the list of things I will not eat. I enjoy many things more than others, and there are things I will not go out of my way to purchase or eat, but I really enjoy eating and will eat most things if they are presented. Food is certainly one of the necessities, and it is also fortunate that I have the stomach for and delight in it so much. Eating is the vast majority of my purchases, and I enjoy both eating out and preparing a good meal. Many of my social interactions revolve around food somehow, and most of the strongest opinions that I have revolve around diet. Of the varieties of food, I most enjoy breads, fruits, and sweets. These of course all fall into the sweeter taste category, but it extends to enjoying the texture of bread, the colors of fruit, and the simple energy rush of sugar. To each of these come great complements of other foods to add to them. The preparation of pasta dishes is easy as it was a family staple growing up. Dumplings hide delicious contents. Dairy goes extremely well with both breads and fruits. My life practically runs on soda. Meat is delicious if prepared well, and vegetables have a wide variety of flavors and feelings of nutrition. The styles in which people prepare food are varied, yet often have commonalities such as the use of oil, garlic, onions, and tomatoes as some of the most consistent bases for flavoring. To these then come the variety of seasonings and spices that can distinguish different nationalities’ takes on curries to the difference between Mexican and Chinese food. Soups are some of my favorite foods because the magical ingredient of time being a staple of the preparation of soup and a huge factor in bringing out flavor. Tastes gradually change over time, but in general, I find that my palate expands to appreciate new things much more than tiring of the old. There are a few things I subsisted on for long enough and almost to the exclusion of other things that I have genuinely tired of, but that allows me to try new dishes and explore the culinary world. I really enjoy that there are different things to have for each meal: cereals, eggs, and baked goods for breakfast; sandwiches, salads, and burritos most often for lunch; main dishes, soups, and desserts for diner; although, each of these can have overlap and can even be substituted for the others. Sushi, ramen, dumplings, fried rice, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, lasagnas, pastas, pizza, sandwiches, curries, rice noodles, soups, stews, etc. These are some of my favorite types of food to indulge in and there is a great variety of possible sauces and toppings to add to each of them. Given the choice, I would eat with a friend, but I am perfectly content to eat out on my own. I have my favorite restaurants, yet I will try new ones happily. I love to find good food at a good price, and it is a neat part of traveling to get to taste new things and occasionally learn how to make them. I often worry about food in that I want to have the perfect balance of preparing great meals and eating out some, of spending time to enjoy the meals I have and being efficient with my time. Thus it is a great pleasure when I can strike this balance, when I can have a slow breakfast once a week, when I can eat at a nice restaurant a few times a month, when I can provide myself somethings that looks and smells delicious. The taste of food can be savored whether it is consumed quickly or slowly. The appearance of food can enhance the positive experience as can the views and atmosphere of the place in which you eat. The textures of food can be the entire base of peoples preferences. There are so many ways in which to eat food that you can change the experience just by changing the utensil or consistency of it. With each bite, you give your body strength and nourishment. It provides you the energy and nutrition to go out and experience the wonders of the world. You are able to re-charge and relax in preparation for the fantastic world that lies beyond the table. Eating literally gives you pleasure, and it alleviates the grumpiness from hunger. Being hangry is a very real thing in my family, but it also means that there is a very simple way to calm us down and appease us. Chances are if I am anything less than polite with you, I simply need to eat. Likewise, eating has helped to alleviate depression and anxiety in my life. I am very fortunate in that I have and appetite that suits my energy needs. It expands when I am doing a lot of exercise and shrinks if I am not. It has always let me stay on the lean side while enjoying any kind of food that I like. Food is easily one the very top priorities in my life and I look forward to many years of eating every day and hope that I can be fortunate enough to appreciate that I have this privilege and continue to enjoy the miracle that is food.