I’m often asked why I get so worked up about food. Particularly by my mom and sister, who candidly suggest that I might find something else to talk about once in a while that doesn’t involve something I tasted, pickled, or plucked from my garden. Some people go so far as to use over-wrought words like “obsessed” or “pre-occupied” in their food-focused lines of questioning. I prefer the term “passionate.” And, unless there’s harm or neglect taking place, I see no reason why anyone who’s passionate about a topic – be it harmonicas, alternative energy, or pond scum – should be swayed otherwise. So there.
Sometimes it helps to explain why I’m so passionate about food. First of all, as humans, we are required to eat several times a day. Maybe even make that food ourselves. So why not get psyched about something you have to do anyway? It makes it more interesting.
Secondly, in Vermont we’re surrounded by beautiful food and people who are into it; I don’t think I was nearly as silly about food before I moved here. From dedicated farmers and producers to inventive chefs and traditional home cooks, there’s a culture of appreciation and an air of bounty here, and that’s not as common as we sometimes assume.
Finally, maybe most importantly, I get so jazzed about food because its discovery is endless. There are always new dishes to taste, countless ingredients to experiment with, and a world full of unfamiliar cultural and social food rituals to experience. I’d venture to guess that no one can ever know everything there is to know about food. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try anyway – and share every new discovery with more fire than the last.