For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

January 12, 2012

Am I What I Eat?

 There are many sayings related to food and I regard many of them as essential spices of my daily vocabulary. To use food and kitchen terminology in other registers and contexts is not only fun, but also very metaphorical and figurative. There’s especially one saying that I have stumbled upon recurrently these past few days.

“We Are What We Eat”, that’s what they say, don’t they? I’ve learned that the food you eat can not only reveal your tastes, but even your gender, ethnicity, social status, cultural traditions and the list goes on. But of course the saying is usually employed when promoting healthy eating habits. Come to think of it, if I am what I eat, then I have to say I’m a pretty scrumptious person: I love eating delicious, honest, flavorful and fresh food! Jokes aside, I honestly believe the food I eat is both healthy and appetizing at the same time. Sometimes however, I just can’t help myself and my lust for all those special treats take over my will of being healthy and in control!

There’s someone in particular who almost always brings out the true gourmande in me. Let me introduce my favorite partner in crime Tif – a fabulous woman who has inspired me through her many exotic recipes and taste combinations, a loyal friend who’ll always sneak to the fridge with you for that last little bite... When we’re together we certainly are what we eat! We turn into spring rolls, pannacottas, goat cheese filled duck breasts, you name it. We even manage to turn into human sushi – don’t ask. But still, there’s one thing we most certainly become and that is cheese!

We both returned to our parents’ houses for Christmas, Tif to Central France and me to Southern Finland. We then reunited for New Year’s in Strasbourg where we’ve lived together a while ago. We didn’t really have time to plan ahead, but I trusted my intuition that we’d have  a “mutual understanding” on things anyway. And did we have a mutual understanding alright!

I arrived to my ex-home in Strasbourg with my bag full of goodies. As special treat with love from Finland just for Tif, 1 and a 1/2 kg of leipäjuusto – a Finnish oven baked cheese she has had a love affair with since 2 years and still going strong. Six hours later Tif arrived. She only needed to unzip her backpack and I already understood. She took out a huge plastic container, opened it and the source for the smell was immediately located. Tif and her Dad are always very generous with food gifts, but never before had I’ve had the immediate access to such a quantity of fine artisan cheese! One cheese among the many, the Salers was an especially enchanting encounter. If Tif has given her heart to leipäjuusto than I’ve even named myself after the Salers cheese. I took it as my pseudo-French surname to avoid sort of “misunderstandings” connected to my Finnish one that’s how much I love it!

Accompanied by nice bottle of Cahors, our favorite red, we dug in. Bonsoir Cantal, salut cher Rocamadour, comment vas-tu Saint-Nectaire, ça fait longtemps Bleue d’Auvergne… Ah, it felt like home. As I was about to savor a nice big chunk of Salers, I took a moment of silence. After all, I was about to take the “We are what we eat” to a whole other level. The moments of metamorphosis has to be crystallized. I no longer only bare its name, I truly turned into Salers. I think I’ve answered my question.

1 comment:

  1. You did it again, it is " delicious " to read your love stories to food.
    In my opinion you are writing very well, you have your own style, this skill is something you have not inherited from me nor you mom, this is your own excellence and I hope you take this skill to the next level, maybe even to a profession in the future. I am proud of you my daughter.


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