I have a very utilitarian relationship with food. I want to have a sensuous relationship with food.
I like food and eating. I have no known food allergies. There are very few foods I wouldn't be willing to try. I like reading restaurant reviews in the paper, I like inoffensive cooking shows, and I've been enjoying Adam Cadre's occasional notes on food and cooking for the past 8 years. He generally describes himself as "anhedonic," but he seems to have a lot of fun eating things.
The problem is that I've never been "wowed" by food, never had a "food orgasm," or experienced any of those other hyperbolic things people say about food sometimes. I'm completely unable to, e.g., rank my 5 favorite burgers. A burger is a burger is a burger. Some are bad, others are not bad, but I wouldn't ask for one on my deathbed.
I do have a reasonably keen sense of taste. I can distinguish herbs and spices, identify ingredients, and so on. But when I'm eating out, it's usually very easy to notice that something is delicious because it's saltier than I would make it at home, or it's deep-fried, or it has more sugar in it — not because it's somehow intrinsically delicious or interesting.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. There is music that can drive me to tears. I find certain smells almost intoxicating: the scent of irises, tomato plant stems, lanolin, a pine forest in the summertime, the inside of a beehive, etc. I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to have a similarly intense experience with food.
Potential obstacles: I was raised in a family that had a very utilitarian view of food. My own time is quite limited, so my home cooking is often very simple and perfunctory. I go to white tablecloth restaurants very rarely. I hope this doesn't eliminate the possibility of the experiences I'm seeking, since people report having them all the time at food trucks, market stands, pizza joints, and sandwich shops.
- Do you have intense, positive, "revelatory" experiences with food? Describe them.
- Compare the intensity of the pleasant experience of a really great meal to, say, a beautiful piece of music or a breathtaking landscape view.
- What should I focus on to maximize the likelihood of these food experiences? (For example: eating at higher-end restaurants, exploring new ethnic cuisines, experimenting with new ingredients, etc.)
Many thanks for sharing.