As I sit here in a posh Los Angeles restaurant having just consumed 23 courses, my mind naturally thinks about the act of eating. I regress back to my early years when eating was seen as a form of torture. I hated to eat and the only thing I found in any way appetizing was covered in chocolate or encased in sugar. I think about those frequent trips to North Carolina,the land of my birth where eating every thing on your plate was the ultimate goal and one was labeled a “good girl” once that had been accomplished. I too was given the speech about all the hungry children in Africa that would give anything to be able to eat my food. At that time, I wanted them to eat it too. I got to the point where I developed a technique of scraping food from my plate when no one was looking to hide it in a napkin waiting in my lap or merely rake it from the plate to hide it under the plate rim. Food to me had become my prison and one I wanted to escape. My younger sister had become resistand and adamant about her eating behaviors. When faced with a threat “unless you eat those peas, you will not leave the table,” she chose to go to sleep at the table while my brother and I were excused for play. She hates peas this day. For some of us the sight, smell and texture play a part in what we eat and what we enjoy eating.
As I sit here in this restaurant, I am served a small piece of crab floating on a foamy liquid. It taste good and limey. I eat the piece of crab but I cannot bring myself to drink the foamy liquid. Having worked in hospitals in my last life, it reminds me of something I prefer not to drink. I am repulsed by its appearance as my hubby comments on how good it taste. I have issues when the waiter brings me pork cheeks. It too taste good but the thought of eating something’s cheeks just does not sit well and makes it difficult to swallow. I have learned throughout the years that the thing I am eating has to be just right in order to enjoy. It must be the right color, texture, temperature, smell. This day and age, I love to eat but I am still a picky eater.