While some mouths are for singing, swearing or kissing, my mouth is for eating. I LOVE eating. I savour all the sensations of a good meal: tangy, bitter, sweet and salty; slippery, crunchy and soft. I’m as happy getting my chops round a hog roast as I am licking a creamy pud off a spoon.
This is pretty ironic, given that I was once a terrible eater. From being weaned on miscellaneous 80’s mush I would avoid anything with lumps, flavour, or the appearance of food. I once refused a lovingly prepared roast pork because my sister told me we were actually eating pork-fish.
The change came somewhere between 2 summers with our Austrian family – one where I lived simply on bread, carrots and rice krispies; and one where I returned on my own, decided to be brave, and never looked back.
For me, food is about culture and is always one of the best bits of a holiday. With varying success I’ve munched my way through piranha in Borneo (meaty), shark in Iceland (jelly like), snails in Paris (fiddly), and duck in Beijing (expensive). I’ve cycled 15k for a pancake breakfast at Dad’s Diner, New York (worth it). And then there’s the infamous Ellie vs Paella (which is either my biggest regret or my proudest moment, I’ve not quite decided).
But food is also about home. Following a recent cheese and onion pie (proper grub) at the mother in laws, chat turned to the best meal we’d ever eaten. Still fresh on her taste buds, MIL went for some Yorkshire steaks we cooked a few weeks back. My salt-of-the-earth-could-not-be-any-more-Mancunian FIL went for a fry up at a road side cafe that reminded him of his plumbing days. Husband rather sweetly went for my Thai green curry, before switching to the piranha. And whether home or abroad my best dishes are the ones I’ve eaten with my husband, or which involve my grandmas favourite restaurant (Figlmullers), or my dad’s devilled eggs, or – the running joke in our family – a platter of “fanned meats” at a buffet. The food doesn’t need to be fancy; the special meals are the ones that take you to a comforting and familiar place or time. And for this reason I love my mouth. It is as much about pleasure, memory, friends and family as it is about teeth, tongue, lips and gums.
What’s special about your mouth? What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Use the comment box to add your thoughts!
Mentioned in this post:
How to eat shark in Iceland: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hákarl
Grandma’s favourite restaurant: https://figlmueller.at/en/
Curiosity magazine has a great food section for travellers looking for their next local dish: https://www.curiositymag.com/category/food/
Happily weaning has come a long way since 80s mush. I have just started baby girl on baby-led weaning, in which babies are allowed to eat real foods – shocker! Her favourites are banana and broccoli (not together). Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett have a great book for people looking to get started.
Mum blogger Becqui Jean writes a lovely, personal piece on baby led weaning – you can read it here: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/72141467/posts/282