Saturday, May 31, 2008

I hate food

For three days straight it's made me ill to think about any kind of food except a dry piece of toast (hold the butter) with some penne pasta, dry, no sauce, maybe with just a dab of tomato sauce on the side. I visited the farmer's market today to see if I could rev up my appetite by the sight of some fresh Spring produce, but all I felt towards the beautiful bunches of local asparagus was neutral, removed and passionless. An odd sensation.

The stomach virus is a powerful thing to turn a food-lover like me into a hater. And aside from the inherent sadness that comes from the lack of appetite, a deep-rooted fear has been creeping up on me - the fear that this will somehow become a permanent state, that I've lost the love and feeling for food altogether. I've spent many hours lying in bed trying to think up worse things that could happen to a striving cook... of course the first thing that came to mind was Grant Achatz, the innovative molecular gastronomist of Chicago's famed Alinea, and the ironic tragedy of his tongue cancer. First his appetite was gone, then his sense of taste altogether.

Even for non-cooks, the loss of appetite represents something of a loss of zest for life. Eating is one the most immediate and primal pleasures in life. And the pleasure of being in the kitchen for me, unmatched as of yet. I ask myself if I would return to the kitchen even if I landed on a permanent state of nausea. Yes, I think I would. I couldn't enjoy the pleasure of the food itself, but there's another major factor in cooking - the desire to share and please others. But would the food be just as good? Probably not. I could cook with my intellect, using good ingredients and good technique, but ultimately food can be only as good as the love and passion that goes into it. So please, oh God, make me healthy again so I can get back to the kitchen with full love and passion...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bummer!
Live sucks without tasting food.
I hope you feel better soon.
-MF

carmen said...

Annie, once in a while, you get turned off by something you really love and enjoy...I think it's a natural process..so you can rediscover your love for it in a whole new way...feel better soon and happy to see you are blogging again!

Undercover Cook said...

Thanks guys. I *think* this may be my last day of the stomach bug diet. Once I crave something creamy and buttery, I'll know I'm back to my normal self.

Carmen, I'm remembering your egg story last time we met. Are you on them again?

We Are Never Full said...

Hey! just found your blog... what a sad post! i hope you're feeling better at this point. I can't think of anything more tragic than a man who dedicated his life to eating/tasting/food and loosing his sense of taste. it's just the saddest thing i've ever heard.