After years of waxing poetic about things like crispy braised pork belly, and why I prefer to leave my fresh figs whole rather than cutting them in half to reveal the beautiful flesh inside (if you cut the fig, you lose the sensation of the firm yet delicate skin bursting in your mouth to release the nectar-rich interior), a dear dear friend has convinced me to start this blog.
Food can transport you to another culture, another time, another mindset, another world. It is one of my favorite things. My other favorite things are travel and art and, for me, the three are intimately related.
I once moved a month-long trip to Thailand from temperate April to steamy August, so that my arrival would coincide with when the maximum number of fruits were in season.
If I am traveling and experiencing a case of the “travelers blues”, I always go to the food market. Nothing makes me feel better than wandering around looking at the heaps and piles of food, colorful and fresh, exotic and familiar, enticing and bizarre.
Food markets are also one of the few places where you can actually interact with locals on their own turf and in their own language. After “Hello” and “Thank you”, the first words I learn in any language are usually “How much?” and whatever numbers I need to be able to offer and understand prices. Though in Thailand, the first words I learned after “Hello” and “Thank you” were “Not Hot!!!” While I am no slouch when it comes to eating spicy food, I am convinced that Thai people have asbestos lined palates. I once had a pork dish so spicy, the capsaicin started burning my lips before the fork carrying the food actually touched them!
I have also been pleasantly surprised find that, for the most part, as I wander among woman selling wild mushrooms heaped on banana leaves, schools of fresh fish piled on ice, and men selling bouquets of deep-fried chicken feet, the prices I am quoted are the same as those given to the locals.
As I have travel around the world, from the islands of the Caribbean, to villages in West Africa, throughout Europe, Turkey and Southeast Asia, whether it is in the food halls of Oxford or Barcelona, the covered alleys of Melbourne, or at a night market in Delhi, one thing has remained the same… What brings me the most pleasure, and makes me feel like I am connecting to the people and the culture of a place, is food… Shopping for it, eating it, discovering something new… and sharing it with locals and fellow travelers alike.
So, that’s food and travel, but this blog is called “Loves Food and Art.” While it could have just as easily been called “Loves Food and Beauty in All Its Many Forms”, that just didn’t have the same ring.
I love abstract sculpture, macro photography, brightly colored images and round shiny objects. I love creative use of space and novel approaches to old problems. I love new perspectives and having my mind blown. I love bridges and buildings and public space as art. I love good graffiti. I love sacred art. I love looking at something and wondering “How did that person even begin to conceive of that?” I love things that are classically pretty and ground-breakingly modern. I love the idea of a person having an idea and using their two hands and creativity to make it manifest.
In short, I love art.
So in this blog, in addition to musings on food, pictures of food, the sharing of recipes and food related stories, the occasional rave for a restaurant, dish or seasonal food, you will also find pictures of, links to, and the odd story about art, artists, and some of the beautiful things upon which I am lucky enough to stumble.
There will be pictures of my own of food, traveling, and beautiful things that catch my eye, and I welcome you to share your own pictures and food fantasies as well.
Thank you for joining me!