Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday

Recently, in private correspondence I'm shamelessly exploiting here, international fantasy author James Maxey typed the following:

Keep me posted if you eat anything over there that makes you think, "Wow, I can't believe we don't sell this at every restaurant in America."

He included an example, food he'd recently discovered prompting just this thought. It got me thinking about dinner. Not so much about food itself as about how I tend to feel about it when I experience it. It isn't much of a stretch to imagine I'm going to order dishes here that are wildly beyond my previous experience. I can go on to imagine many of these dishes will be revelations. Still, at the time I read Mr. Maxey's email, I dismissed the sentiment as being rather alien to me. I could easily imagine food prepared so expertly, say, that it exceeded previous standards; but food is so entrenched within its relationship to culture, taste, and mise-en-place, that I couldn't readily imagine any item independent enough to answer any sentence so devoid of specificity. Three things: this does disservice to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the original comment. It also does disservice to food, which should occasionally thwart expectations. Lastly, it speaks to the arrogance by which I rate my own imagination: really, why wouldn't the specialists running every restaurant in America have already predicted something if I'm able to? It was with Mr. Maxey's request in mind that I sat at my very next dinner table, and he will not be disappointed. After a nice meal of sautéed squid and tomato new tofu soup, we were served a gratuity I'd welcome at the end of each remaining meal of my life: dried ginger chips dusted with confectioner's sugar beside cups of bitter, spicy ginger-infused black tea. [Cavin]

Then, a 1 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Ellie added:

Sorry I am a bit behind in reading your blog. But what a nice entry to start out on. I hope I get some sugar dusty ginger chips when I finish reading everything up to date!

Thursday, November 29, 2007 1:09:00 AM  

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