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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Playing Favorites

World, we have a problem. And this is no small issue, let me be clear. This is a problem of epic proportions. Epicurean proportions, that is.

While sitting at the table today, enjoying leftover Chicken Cioppino with toasted baguet stuffed with melted cheese, I was trying to picture the perfect dish. You know, the perfect meal, that "last supper" that I would die for, metaphorically speaking of course. And I, lover of food like no other, came up blank. What the hell is wrong with me?

So, in a panic, I began retracing my dietary steps. Cioppino last night, Vietnamese phö the night before, turkey submarine sandwiches, Mexican pot-roast with fresh salsa and tortillas, orzo salad with lemony-herbed chicken and feta, bbq'd burgers with tuna-farfale...The list goes on and on. Yet, not one of those meals, and all were delicious, stoked me enough to say "That's the one."

Suddenly picking a favorite meal felt like picking a favorite child, like commiting to a marriage when there were so many other men to date. Like saying cambozola is better than manchego. I shudder at the thought. I waited for my sons to return from school, hoping to glean a clear food-winner from their ever hungry mouths. My oldest son Jr. responded with a clear and unwaivering, "I dunno. My teacher asked me that too, and I wrote, I dunno. Cuz I dunno. I like a lot of things." And when I turned to my youngest, a mini-me when it comes to the glorification of all things food-related, I was sure an answer I would find.

"Jorge," I said. "What is your favorite food ever?"

"Thirds," he answered.

Further clarification yielded more of the same. He couldn't pick because there were "just so many good things to eat." My husband was no help either. When asked his favorite food, his response was "Chicken Curry?" Notice the question mark? That's because he asked me. Come to find out, he has the same problem we do. "That'd be hard to pick just one," he said.

And then fear set in. What do you call a foodie with no favorite food? A culinary adventurer with no culinary roots to call home? A maker of things that taste yummy, with no clear-cut winner? A fraud. I was a Phony-Foodie. A Crook-Cook. Martha Stewart facing a grand jury.

What would the greatest of greats say? Does Tony Bourdain subscribe to just one favorite meal? Did Julia Child have one butter-laden dish that she could find finality in? Am I so wrong to love so many foods? Or am I stuck in the sin-pot of polyamorous foodieism? Will I burn in Hell's Kitchen? Or does true food-love mean a lifelong love of one meal?

I'd love your opinion readers! What's your favorite food ever?


Anonymous said...

I'd have to say that my favorite food comes and goes. When I find that gem of a dish, I want it so often that I burn it out. I admit, I'm guilty of not having enough self control to limit my intake of a particular food- when I love it.
So, maybe the question is: What's your favorite meal right now, this very second?
Does a homemade banana split count? I'm gonna go find out right now!

Anonymous said...

Something tells me you are in a sugar phase !!! Enjoy the pie!

Laurie said...

I'm currently in somen salad mode--char siu, radishes, noodles, cukes, scallions, romaine (though maunawili butter lettuce would be good), microwaved omelet so it slices easily, chinese peas...somen dressing.

Laurie said...

today's around the world in salads adventure--mexican salad--corn, corn chips, black beans, tomatoes, romaine, cabbage, olives, a sprinkling of queso, cukes, radishes...yum.

B. Salazar said...

That sounds delicious. I bet it was far more satisfying that my $90 meal at Ruby's -- yuck!!!!

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