You’re hungry and you know it. It’s time to order some food.
It isn’t always an occasion that demands a choice away from your regular favourites. It could be a special drift in the air, a sway of one’s mood, a happy thrill of going beyond the ordinary and eventually a leap of faith in the food gods (read chef) and the hope to attain a foodgasm.
You know that particular feeling that rises up from the pits of your stomach, tingling your arms, culminating into a ton of drool you can barely hold shut? It starts when you toss the idea of trying out ‘something different’.
It could be as simple as fried noodles; you’ve had noodles before but “what’s fried noodles?” you ask yourself. Amused by the different images for answers your brain just tossed around, you announce your choice and settle into the most difficult bit- the wait.
Waiting for that exciting plate of order is no easy task. It’s especially hard when someone else is eating around you- office colleagues, flat mate or random stranger sharing the table. You don’t really want to stare at their food, but you can’t help it, can you? You send across a silent glance. If caught, you steer a few casual glances at random objects hoping to pull off “I am just thinking about work.” When you fail to convince the other, you steer into the ‘ponder mode’. You fix your eyes onto empty space between you and the plate of food and fake a trance of serious thinking. The kind that could solve the city’s water problems if given a chance. It’s a mini victory for cheap thrills when you break your trance and catch the other person staring at you. You brush off the “Oh, you looking at me?” to be the bigger person and excuse the harmless stare exchange.
In an unexpected moment the food arrives! Ah-ha! Finally!
A delight filled exhale accompanies your anxious eyes waiting to see what the dish looks like. Does it match the mental image that popped in your head? Sometimes. Sometimes, it refreshingly exceeds your expectation. Clever packing, thoughtful garnishing and an inviting aroma, all things good that make you want to say Hola Chef (shameless plug), trigger the satisfaction of having made the right choice of trying ‘something different’.
With that happy thought you take that first decisive bite. You’re not easy to please, you tell yourself. You put on the hat of a tough cookie food critic and move the food around on your tongue, delicately allowing it to please your palette. Rarely is the choice a miss, if you’re one of the lucky ones i.e. When it’s a hit, a score, a bulls eye, a perfect melody for your food soul- you embrace your food choice like a mother embraces a new born. You’re THE discoverer, the adventurous risk taker, the bad ass who saw it all through, the new advocate for this dish, the enlightened one. It’s going to be one of your recommendations to friends, family, strangers and the neighbourhood dog pack.
All good things come to an end, when it comes to food hour. And as you lick your plate clean, you walk away a happy victor. Ready to make bold choices all over again; faith in food goodness restored. Speaking of bold choices, have you heard of Hákarl? (Look it up!)
No, I haven’t tried it yet. If you have the heart, do let me know.