Perspectives: just eat it

Everyone, deep down, loves food. Even those people who claim to only “eat because they have to” let down their defences occasionally and exclaim with glee how delicious something they are eating is.

Food is so much a part of our lives that our memories are intrinsically linked to meals we’ve had, snacks we’ve shared, and the wonderful smells of cooking that have arrested us on the streets of foreign countries.


1. What has been your most memorable meal?

I’ve been lucky enough to have so many great meals, ranging from down and dirty $1 meals in Ecuadorian backyards to top notch restaurants that had quirky, theatrical dishes including live ants. But my most memorable meal was sitting on a street in Bangkok, on rickety plastic stools. The boy had ordered Thai green curry from a street stall, and I had opted for plain and simple pad thai – the best I’ve ever had. What made it really memorable though, is the heat that the green curry packed – my dining companion was literally crying into his food it was so hot, but refused to stop eating because it “tasted so damn good”. I laughed at him all the way through dinner.

Live Ants at Taste of Noma

2. If you had to choose one meat to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hands down, it would be chicken. It’s so versatile, you can have it fried, baked, steamed, grilled, deep fried, boiled, breaded, crumbed, shredded…it goes with any number of flavours, herbs, sauces and can be matched with pretty much any veg or carb. OK, so you can’t have it raw – but I think that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

3. What is your quirkiest food habit?

I hate ordering the same thing as my other half, even if I know that I really, really want that particular dish that he wants and we’ll hate having to share. I feel like I need to make the best use of being at a restaurant and therefore need to try at least two things – which means I can’t possibly have the same meal. It’s often ended in massive food envy, let me assure you.


1. What has been your most memorable meal?

I will never forget the excitement and wonder I felt when I dined at the Fat Duck. The Heston Blumenthal classics included snail porridge, Sounds of the Sea, and a mock turtle soup in the Alice in Wonderland theme showcased so much fun and creativity that nothing has topped it since when it comes to memorable meals.

Sounds of the Sea Fat Duck Heston Blumenthal

2. If you had to choose one meat to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would readily eat pork for the rest of my life. As Homer Simpson said, it’s the “magical animal” – bacon, ham, sausages, and my favourite, roasted pork belly or pork shoulder with lots of crispy crackling!

3. What is your quirkiest food habit?

I was only recently alerted to my audible appreciation of food. When I’m enjoying my meal (and let’s be honest here, I enjoy eating immensely!), I make sounds of ecstasy. It was a colleague that first laughed at me whenever I made these unconscious moans while eating lunch at my desk. Since then, whenever we’re having dinner my boyfriend tells me, “you’re doing it again!”


1. What has been your most memorable meal?

Absolutely glorious stir-fried aubergine that I bought at a street stall in Shanghai and ate, of all places, in my dodgy hotel room! Each of the dishes at the stall was laid out raw on a plate covered with plastic wrap. You simply selected the plate you wanted and they they transformed it into deliciousness right before your eyes. There wasn’t actually anywhere to sit, hence the takeaway option. But even the poor location couldn’t change the impact of this meal. The noodles and tofu were amazing. And all of the dishes were so hot that my nose and eyes were flowing uncontrollably. But oh, that aubergine! It was simply beyond words. A life-changing experience.

2. If you had to choose one meat to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I’m showing my Aussie colours here and putting in a vote for lamb! I don’t feel the need to eat meat at every meal so, for me, the variety of preparation options isn’t as important as the flavour factor. That said, there are a few options… sausages, burgers (rissoles!) and, of course, a roast that it’s worth saying no to a date with Tom Cruise for. And let’s face it, if I’m limited to only eating one meat for the rest of ever, I want it to be something that tastes, well, like meat!

3. What is your quirkiest food habit?

I scientifically construct the last mouthful of every meal. It always consists of just the right ratio of all of my favourite ingredients in the meal, even if this means I have to go without some of them in the preceding mouthfuls. Depending on the foodgasm rating of the meal in question, there may be a second-last mouthful that is also carefully constructed to allow for the prolonging of the perfect taste combination sensation. When I get the balance right, it’s usually at least several minutes before I want to taint the lingering flavours with something else, even dessert. Meals with a useful but less tasty part that is usually eaten last, such as pizza, do not pose a problem… they are simply eaten in reverse order, crust first then the middle. Messy, maybe, but at least I still get the best bit last!


4 thoughts on “Perspectives: just eat it

  1. I always leave the best bit until last. And preferably until after everyone else has finished too (though that’s a slightly less conscious decision)

    • Ah Lizzie, can you imagine the horror of this scenario??? I had eaten all the crust of my garlic bread (one of my favourite foods) and had only the squishy, juicy middle part left. It was the last piece in the house. My hand was on its way to my mouth to deliver that wonderful last mouthful when, out of nowhere, a fellow party-goer grabbed said last morcel out of my hand an scoffed it. As you can probably imagine, my shock knew no bounds. It’s a good 10 years later and I’m still not sure I’ve managed to get over it! 🙂

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