Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Food for the soul includes memory and meaning

The Simple Kitchen refers to Thomas Moore's essay, "Food for the Soul" in today's blog entry "Cherries are ripe":
Moore "argues that we’ve lost the 'soul' of food – our connection to memory and meaning – by no longer selecting, preparing and eating with pleasure and attention.

I was contemplating this idea of the 'soul' of food when, during a visit to our local library, I was surprised by a fragrance that I couldn’t immediately place. My mind searched for a few seconds while I breathed in the fragrance – sweet, warm and honeyed. “What IS that?” I said aloud, straining to remember. A moment later my mind found it – ah … honeysuckle! And, in an instant, I was standing in my grandparent’s backyard, in Grandpa’s garden."
After describing memories of grandfather from thirty years before, with a particular focus on cherries, the entry concludes, "I am still contemplating Moore’s idea of the 'soul' of food, but on this point I agree with him – 'food serves memory,' aiding, attending and supporting the richness of memory and experience." A recipe for Julia Child’s Cherry Clafouti is included.