Food Writing: Food Has Feelings Too
Kathy S. Molina
Don’t stare at me as if you do not know what I am to you. I am not some unrecognizable surprise to your rituals. Uninvited, I am there. Uninvited, I offer myself. But still you have the nerve to ask of my purpose, of what is behind my presence.
But I forgive you, I always do. Despite the fact that I’m starting to grow roots on this plate I share with what satisfies your hunger, your cravings, your fickle desires and various temptations. I’m slowly drying up and my preservatives are wearing out as you fall in and out of them, figuring out which would best suit your appetite; as they too fall in and out of you, filling that void, fooling your heart. While I remain from a close distance, I endure your choice, after choice, after choice.
I remain. Still, immovable, untouched, unless you decide otherwise. I forgive you for giving me but a glance and the occasional stares of wonderment of what to do with me. I forgive you for giving into presumptions of my lack of enthusiasm in presentation and in depth. I forgive you for keeping me on the side not as a choice, but as a garnish, inedible. In some measure, I could be grateful; you haven’t had me thrown away.
I know what will happen next. But allow me, at this moment, before you take your last bite, before you swallow your wrong choice, before you leave this low-lit hall, allow me to beg you. I beg you to consider understanding my presence, my purpose, my ambitions – all that I am capable of, all that I can effect on you.
Consume me all you want for I can relieve your upset stomach from the spoiled raw meat you have chosen before me. I can soothe your choking throat from the unwanted screams and the feeling of nausea crawling it’s way to trigger regret. I can prevent allergic reactions, muscle cramps, blood clots and difficulty in breathing. Ultimately, I can cleanse your palette, to remove the after taste not even water can rinse out; I can ready you for your next meal, for your next choice, for your next love.
Do not fear me, I beg you. Do not ignore me. Take a risk on me. Allow me to take away the bad taste in your mouth. Regardless of your hospitality or lack thereof, I will undoubtedly be on a close distance, hinting to you my necessity. Sitting on your plate, as your in-between clarity, your in-between taste, among the seemingly promising courses of possible mistakes.
gari [ˈgɑːrɪ], n. : Thinly sliced pickled ginger, often served with sushi. It is eaten in between different dishes of sushi to help cleanse the palette.