Sunday, 20 December 2009
All in the imagination? Are food descriptions sexy?
I was also wearing chef's whites and had a visual attention to detail whilst acting in the assisting and supervision of the setting of the family table at the family celebration, catering for 20+ people. None of this was for real, yet for a momentary period of time it appeared real in the engagement of the theatre piece, from the audience's point of view. At some points there was real food on stage too to bolster the 'reality' of the piece.
Outside of the fictional world of the theatre and cinema, we too, read, in all manner of cookery books, magazines and blogs about the sensous nature of food and drink, mainly alluding to the senses; the smell described, the sounds described, the feel of things described. The question is, how much are we influenced by what we believe we see, hear or feel about the world of food and drink? Do we have to have already had the actual food experiences to get drawn into the description and believe it to be true?
Tonight, I am cooking a delicious aromatic Aberdeen Angus beef stew with herbs, organic vegetables (little firm and slightly elongated fresh and soily new potatoes, like Ratte but shorter , good tasting Chantenay French carrots and sugary sweet scented parsnips, petites pois and long French beans) and soft herby dumplings, destined to rise to the top of the stew. The meat is terrifically tender and smells fantastic as it lightly fries and bubbles on the oven top in twice pressed olive oil. The unctuous steam is filling the kitchen and drifting upstairs. It is so hot in here I'll have to open a window!
Soon I'll be adding some fresh picked field mushrooms that I collected at 5am this morning from a local farmers field; the dew still evident on the moist and pulpy flesh of these earthy delights back then. When I add the dumpling to the gently bubbling final mix I will be anticipating their warm flavours delighting my tongue and palate.
Can you taste these things in your mind? Are they exciting ingredients building towards an anticipation of the dish? Is food sexy? If so, would food from abroad sound sexier?
Something to ponder over Christmas. xxx