Back when I was an eating person, in truth I did indeed love food, but you'd never have called me a gourmand. As eating became more difficult, so food became more about necessity and less about enjoyment. Prior to that, I'd try out new recipes (usually just made up stuff from my head and whatever I could find in the house) and enjoy new sensations - but never obsessed or craved or even strongly desired any particular thing. If something new came along, that was great. I'd watch something like Iron Chef and imagine what some of the dishes would be like, but was never busting to get into the kitchen and replicate it.
You know how they say that people who lose a sense tend to experience a heightening of other senses as some sort of compensatory thing? Like the blinded developing really sensitive and directional hearing; stuff of that sort. Well I've developed compensatory imagination. A couple of years ago, sure, I could imagine what a new dish might taste like, but now.....sometimes it's genuinely absorbing. Full aromatics, mouth feel, even the feel in my hands as I pick something up....the roll of the tongue and teeth, the swallow, and the aftertaste too. Of course I completely believe I'm 100% accurate in my imaginings, but then I would, wouldn't I? No possibility of comparison with reality itself.
Which brings me to today's must-have moment, a new dish never tried before:
Open rye bread sandwiches with cheese (I'm thinking something Northern European like Jarlsberg), caviar, and boiled egg. Seriously, I'm full right now from my last feed but I could go about three of them without hesitation. After the first I'd experiment with just the merest touch of white pepper, very finely ground.
It's come from a book set in Sweden that I'm reading right now, where this is something a character eats. No big deal, just a simple description of some food. But as I read it, I got it, the combination sang to me; the slightly piquant tartness of the rye with it's subtle tang and strongly chewy moistness layered under the nutty full-flavoured cheese and I'd never thought of caviar with cheese, but it just works so well - as long as you remember the boiled chicken egg. It ties the other ingredients into a roundedness and harmony of genius. I bet lots of people would put something like mayonnaise with this, but I think that would ruin it.
So if anyone wants to have a go at this one for me (my other half's not ever going anywhere near caviar or boiled egg for that matter) do let me know if you enjoyed it.
You know what? Writing it up gets me to that point of being satisfied too, so thanks for the opportunity.