14 October 2008

Food is Beautiful…Even When You’re Not Eating It

Just imagine for a moment all the food you could ever imagine-the freshest meats, beautiful produce, and pure food decadence spread throughout 523 acres. A true culinary fantasy land. But there’s a catch. The thing is you’re allowed to pass through this wonder land just looking; you’re not allowed to eat a single thing; only to take in the images of food all around.

In a recent episode of the Bizarre Foods series on the Travel Channel with Andrew Zimmern, this was the exact scenario, and the 523 acre food wonderland was the Rungis Market in France. This facility is not open to the public, but the food personality got the rare opportunity to explore the compound on the ‘just look, don’t taste policy’! It was amazing to see this man made to seriously restrain his natural impulse to indulge in all things food. This is a guy who normally eats any and everything he wants including the stuff most of the rest of us wouldn’t even fathom putting close to our mouths. After all, his motto is ‘If it looks good, eat it”, which he closes most of his shows with. Looking at that episode of ‘Bizarre Foods’ I couldn’t help but think how much strength it must have taken for this man to be surrounded by food and only being able to take in the visual aspect of the food. It was interesting to watch to say the least.

For bonafide foodies like Andrew Zimmern or any person who defines him/herself as a foodie, taking a little time to savor the visual appeal of food is a natural trait. For this unique group of people there is the fundamental belief that food is art and pleasure from eating exists largely on the visual plain. However, on the other end, hurried eating and ‘fast and easy’ has become a large part of the culture.

As a result, many people have gotten used to doing multiple things at mealtime. Therefore, registering food visually for extended periods of time has become somewhat stifled and the food itself may not be fully noticed. I think this is unfortunate, because really taking in food visually is such a huge part of helping us to have a positive, guilt-free and healthful response to it. Perhaps a culinary session, as the one experienced by Andrew Zimmern at the Rungis Market in France might make us more aware of food visually.

So following I’m creating a mini Rungis Market experience. A feast for your eyes only; a little food candy if you will. So slow down a bit and enjoy!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


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