What Is Food?

Lost, For The Love of Food.

It’s very rare that I start getting philosophical about food. Not to say, I don’t get lost in my thoughts. I do and very often too. However, it’s usually a collection of sensory fantasies about what a certain food or foods would taste like and how I should be cooking them. I rarely venture in the realm of deeper meaning.

That is, until I was sat at in a Jamatkhana for a wedding, being served traditional Bohri fare in probably the most communal way possible. If you’ve experienced Bohra cuisine before, the essence of it is bringing people together over food. As my host stood in the centre of our little circle, with a jug and a basin, pouring water for each of us to wash our hands, that’s when I began wondering.

What is Food?

There are the obvious answers. Sustenance. Fuel. Nurturing. And then there’s the deeper sentiments. The provision of joy. Becoming part or the centre of a celebration. Becoming one to the means to honour the departed. The means to help mend, or at least lessen the pain of the broken heart. In essence, bringing people together, regardless of the occasion or lack thereof.

Food seems to take on a different meaning in each situation that is occurs in. With each person that interacts with it. In every occasion, on every table, in each set of hands. It transcends barriers of language, of social constructs, of ethnic differences, of location and region even. Food elicits emotion and counters it. Food seemingly has a mythos as rich as the double cream we drown our strawberries in.

A still from one of the best meals I've ever had.
A still from one of the best meals I’ve ever had. At Steak By CFU.

Travelling Through Food!

This is what I want to explore. What is food? What can it really do. I do realise that this is a gargantuan task. Putting all of that in one post would be foolish. Which is why I’m not attempting that. Instead this will be a series. For once, I don’t have an endgame. I do not how this series will end. I do know how I’ll be proceeding with this.

Every little while, I’ll post with a different answer to the same question. For example, food is joy, food is celebration, and so on and so forth. I may throw in a recipe, talk about an experience, or just talk about food I’ve had that resonates. I realise I’m leaving this on a very open-ended note. But that’s just what this is, a journey with no set destination. A journey that may change tracks and may backtrack.

We don’t know where we’ll end up but that’s the fun of it.

Below, I’ll link all the parts of the journey as they come so come along why don’t you?

  • First Part Coming 20th February, 2019.

While You’re waiting..

Why don’t you check out a few of my more popular posts in the meantime.

The Road To El Browniedo

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