"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with [her]...the people who give you their food give you their heart." ~Cesar Chavez~
I've said it before, and a section of this blog post prompts me to say it again: food, to me, equals love. If I cook you something delicious (or anywhere close to delicious, like merely okay or just edible) and give it to you, chances are good I like you. I probably even love you.
Not necessarily in that way, unless you are Ryan Gosling, or Viggo Mortensen, or a smoking hot neighbor with a steady job, a sense of humor, and a tool box. And a truck for moving big things. No more dogs, though. If you are aforementioned smoking hot neighbor and you have a dog, keep driving your truck on by. I am full up of dogs and just waiting for one of them to die so it feels more manageable.
But I digress.
Food means comfort and creativity. It is at the base of who we are; it shapes our culture, our day, our life. We move to places based on where we will be able to get food; one of the first things we find when we land in a new place is pizza that doesn't suck and a bar with delicious cocktails (or a coffee shop, or bakery, or whatever floats your culinary/survivalist boat). In Georgia, you identify your neighborhood by which Kroger you live near (with clever nicknames, like Murder Kroger, Disco Kroger, and Done Been Kilt Kroger. Seriously. I can't make this up. Except the last one that Sicily and I made up based on a murder/suicide that happened in the parking lot but still cannot say without chuckling). In Baltimore, it's a farmer's market or a hipster nose-to-tail butcher. Or the newest ironic dive with innovative food.
We speak of food deserts in inner cities where the landscape is sere and hard with the lack of fresh green places and bustling life. Food swamps with their hot Cheetos and Twinkies aren't much better. It crushes my soul in a very non-hyperbolic way to think of kids who have no idea what fresh food tastes like, kids that haven't seen a non-canned green bean or a roasted beet.
I fully recognize the elitist nature of my even being able to write this blog. Absence of food does not mean absence of love, and all around the world people love each other in ways that have nothing to do with calories.
For me, a cookie is a caress. Fresh bread is a warm embrace. Food is love.