It's good isn't it? - I mean in so many ways: colour, taste; funkily arranged on a plate, or slammed in a bowl and shovelled away in front of the T.V while the rain pisses down outside . . . fuel for life, you are what you eat, etc.
I suppose food takes up about thirty percent of an average day in The Hothouse; whether it be discussing what to eat, searching in cupboards, cycling down to the local shops or driving a bit further to the scary planet of over-consumption, and finally cooking and eating the amassed molecules.
We stayed with a family in Cuba years ago. They probably spent about the same amount of time over food, although it was usually chasing up some rumour that someone had a stash of oranges; or sitting for hours picking over rice to take out the unknown mysterious bits, or trying to vary the statutory stew by adding a larger portion of yam in relation to carrot, or whatever was available.
At the other end of the scale exist places where you can spend about the same amount of time eating one meal . . .
Yesterday I was alerted by Trip advisor that the World's Best Restaurant had been nominated.
In order to avoid dealing with some annoying bit of office work, I investigated and discovered it to be in Spain, which then led to some tangenty behaviour of looking at daft menus of the Top Ten restaurants with meal prices that would buy you two weeks shopping: a head.
Why would anyone want to spend five hours eating twenty-two courses?
Is there not something completely obscene about this behaviour when most of the planet's inhabitants are concerned with trying to find anything vaguely edible, let alone a square, round or otherwise, meal?
A chocolate and gold sundae, created in New York, at a cost of round about 25,000 dollars - but it does have diamonds in it . . .
Ooh, two please. Actually, no, think I'll re-roof the house and update the car. Hold the order, thanks.
We once visited a chateau in the Lot Valley and were shown the banqueting room. On the vast table were an array of tableware from that epoch: lethal looking knives, a few bowls and an odd, metal tube with a sort of plunger on one end.
The tour person elaborated:
"Eet is somezing zat was used to make more space in ze stomach of ze revellers - after so many courses, it was possible avec ce thing to 'how you say' make some more room in ze bowel."
"What you mean, an enema?" I said, and retched into the moat, or whatever it was surrounding the building (almost).
But is this so different from the twenty-two course business? - just a little 'waffer' thin mint, Mr . . . whoever it was in the Monty Python film.
Reading on, my jaw hit the desk at one reviewer's comment on, I forget which Michelin-starred eatery from the top ten.
I usually find myself completely unsatisfied when leaving a Michelin-starred establishment, blah, blah . . .
Hang on - usually? How often do you eat in these places? and why bother if you find them unsatisfying?
I have never yet had the opportunity to discover if I would be unsatisfied, completely, mildly or otherwise, and probably never will as there are so many wonderful and characterful places in wish to slake one's food-lust in, without having to re-mortgage anything