Why Food? An Ode

Food is my hobby. Maybe that seems like something someone would put on a t-shirt as a joke, like "Pizza is my boyfriend," but this is no joke. For me, food is it. Now what does that mean exactly? That I eat without stopping and constantly dream about food? Well, technically those are half-way true, especially the dreaming about food (don’t you know that’s why we drool in our sleep?), but food is so, so much more than its physical taste, texture, and smell. HollydazeCherries-900x627 As I shared with you luvvs last week, my food journey didn’t begin until much later in my life. Eighteen-year-old Melinda moved out from her tiny town to a slightly larger town, and in the process discovered gyros, sushi,  pad thai, and countless other foods and flavors I had missed out on during my life. I would love to say that this was my turning point to beginning to love food, but my true love and passion for food came later. Don't get me wrong, I loved eating and loved trying new foods, but the deep appreciation I have now for food’s impact and for the creation process,  didn't actually occur until an English classroom. It may seem strange to think that literature is what bloomed my connection to food, rather than food itself. To me though, to think my first passion -- literature -- created the fervor for my second passion -- food -- just cements its importance in my life. 20140115-165609 To be precise about the very moment this love sprouted, it occurred from a discussion with my favorite professor in a class of ten English majors.  We were discussing the novel Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. In this novel, Lahiri beautifully uses food to represent divides, connections, culture, the process of assimilation and the prospects of rejecting it, and so much more. When I started to understand the layers food brought into this story, I began to see the layers it brought into my own life. In this loveliness, I began to feel the power of food. Food nourishes our bodies, but it also nourishes so much more. It nourishes our need to represent our culture, to come together, to celebrate. To visit a city or country for the first time, you may stumble around and see the architecture, the historical landmarks, the nature, but you don’t see the spirit until you step into a local restaurant, or if you're fortunate enough, into the kitchen of a local kind enough to open their door. DSC_0752-900x598 Through creating food, we not only have the chance to explore our culture and other cultures in a deeper way, but a chance to create our own twist on the culture that is around us. Art, music, literature-- they have their immortal place in time, but so does the food that fed those artists, musicians, and writers. Food feels so temporary when we sit down, but the experiences shared buying, creating, and consuming tell a story about where we've been and where we’re going. When I say food is a hobby, I mean it is part of the liveliness and beauty that creates the pulse of the world - food. I mean it shapes our identity. I mean it is the thread that connects us all. brocfeat-1 The pictures I've provided throughout are some of my favorite meals I've shared with people. Just as I've loved sharing this personal love letter to food, I hope you guys will share with me. What makes you love food? Which meals are representative of your culture or identity? Which are your favorites to share with your loved ones? Tell us below what makes food special to you. pearchampagnecocktail-900x695 Happy Eats My Sweets, melinda-sig

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