Saturday, March 08, 2008

Food is not my friend

I was talking to La Simpatica the other day. We were talking about food. She was saying something about being hungry and wanting something sweet. Actually, it wasn't even about being hungry, it was about having the urge to eat.

"Food is not my friend", was my reply.

"But it's so good", she said.

"No", I said, 'Food is like a really bad boyfriend, the one you swear you've finally washed your hands of and you're not going to have anything to do with, ever again, regardless of how good the sex is. Then he shows up on your doorstep and it's all over."

That about sums up my relationship with food. I wish I'd been born a WASP sometimes. As far as I can tell, their opinion of food is that it is sustenance. They also seem to like things bland.

I grew up in a culture where food was a way of life. Cream, butter, meat, potatoes, pasta, pretty much anything that should not figure in a healthy diet. In other words anything that is good. Don't even get me started talking about desserts and the underappreciated custard. Creme Bruleee is decadent in its sheer simplicity. Bavaroise is it's slutty sister in a big poofy ball gown. I remember one particular experiment with a lime Bavarian Cream, flavored with tequila and served with a raspberry coulee.

Perhaps a pork loin, butterflied and rolled with brandied prunes with a red currant sauce finished with heavy cream and served up with whipped potatoes.

As you are probably able so see from what I'm talking about, when I was more overweight, I had earned every last artery clogging pound. Perhaps that is why I have so little patience with the average overweight American.

Instead of lingering with a charming gigilo that is leading you down the garden path, they are shacking up with the 2 dollar whore of fast food. I don't really think most of the people carrying around saddle bags love food. They just love to stuff their faces. Theirs is the sin of gluttony. I would equate my problems with food more along the lines of lust. If I am going to eat my way into a heart attack, I want the experience to be worth it. I'd rather regret something that features hollandaise sauce, starch and animal fat that leaves me with a warm afterglow and the urge to smoke a cigarette before I fall asleep than gobble down a Big Mac.

Don't get me wrong. I also love a good burger. But I would prefer one that was once an actual cow and the cheese to be real cheese and not pasturized processed cheese food, thank you very much.

My friend Anne and I in the days that we still went out to the cape always made a pilgrimage to one particular clam shack in Wellfleet for a steaming platter of deep fried goodness. I should also mention they made their own tartar sauce and my attitude was "In for pence in for a pound!" when it came to the condiments, french fries and cole slaw.

If I am going to blimp out, I want to do so eating real food, not eating something that was conjured up in a lab somewhere. I want it to taste like food, not what one of the big food conglomerates have decided is a close approximation of what, say, beef tastes like. If I am going to be punished for my sins, I want to at least enjoy the sinning portion of the program.

At any rate, the struggle continues on. I will say this though for watching what you eat. On those occasions when you do fall off the wagon and follow your impulse rather than your better instincts you thoroughly enjoy the occasion. If like the bad boyfriend it takes a while to recover from the mess that has been made at least you had a really good time getting into trouble.