Thursday, February 5, 2009

Forgetting flavours

Oh woe is me- I sigh as I slump over the end of the couch. Thankfully the worst of it has passed, but I can tell you there is nothing quite as horrific as food poisoning- think the worst gastro you've ever had, and then multiply it by the armies of hell. Sadly the doctor tells me I will probably never know what the offending item was that made me sick- but henceforth I will harbour a secret resentment towards my once beloved leeks... wash them thrice and then scrub them down... but never, never trust them.
So after 3 days of dry biscuits and Hydralite to keep my salts and minerals up, last night I finally felt well enough to eat.

You can have anything you want Jane... anything (as long as its not meat, dairy or oily)! How about your favourite... custard tart? But what was this? I could think of nothing to tempt me? Nothing? How could this be? And then I realised that in the last few days I had actually forgotten what anything other than pain tasted like. 
So what's a girl to eat when her stomach is still in knots, but she yearns to be reminded of comforting flavours? 
The simplest answer was pasta with home made tomato sauce; over-ripe tomatoes stewed with olive oil and onion until they make a warm, soft paste. Has anything ever tasted sweeter? Certainly to my numbed palette it seemed like I was tasting for the first time.  
It suddenly struck me that for those people who practice fasting as a regular part of life, this amazing sense of flavour saturation and enjoyment 'like eating for the first time' must be an oft repeated joy. Perhaps this is a side benefit of fasting that I had never really taken seriously before? A renewed sense of joy in flavour and a reborn sense of wonder with simple food? 
Certainly, just this once (and long after the fact) I was able to recognise the silver lining of this cloud- forgetting flavours, only to rediscover them. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jane.
A great reminder to recognise the wonder of the 'palate', taste. We must value it while we have it. Some virus' & some medical treatments mute it & in a small % it never returns . Age also changes it to a narrower "pallete"

From a sympathiser!!!!!!!!