Part of the joy in eating for me is the journey and the process.
I love that you see the food and know that eventually you’ll taste its deliciousness. You just need to work for it. Just a little. But it is all worthwhile. It really is. My sister took me for a Thai meal the other day and we had the best combination of flavours ever in the form of the starter Miang Kam. Betel leaves are sprinkled with diced ginger, toasted coconut, dried shrimp, diced lime and shallots, peanuts and birdseye chillies. Wrapped up, and eaten, it is the most wonderful blending of flavours.
In a different category, we have food that make you work hard. Shellfish, especially crab, if eaten in Asian countries is prepared in its shell. Tables are set with little hammers and pliers for diners, alongside chopsticks or forks and spoons. When there is a crab dish, conversation usually goes dead because of the level of concentration in getting that little sliver of flesh. I am a dedicated crab-eater. I love having a strategy, and to have to think of how best to unshell the crab. All that work for a little bit of food. Sunflower seeds, groundnuts (or monkey nuts as they are known in the UK) all fall under this category. It’s all about showing how much effort you’re willing to put in. I believe the tastiness comes from the anticipation of the food.
Spring rolls, fajitas, Vietnamese pancakes, crispy duck pancakes spring to mind as interactive food. What fun! Playing with your food is more than allowed, you have to. I just love having this blank canvas for you to add little bits of ingredients to. And wrapping it up and knowing that you created this and you’re going to eat it.
Food when unrushed is oh, so delicious. Fingers working, eyes watching it come together, nose smelling the fragrant ingredients, ears listening to Plat Du Jour perhaps and tongue, probably salivating.