I’m only on page 14 and already, Gopnik’s got me simultaneously pondering life’s intricacies (a dangerous and fruitless road for me to go down) and craving food that I don’t have.
Adam Gopnik is a writer. A very successful writer, whose words have graced the pages of the New Yorker and others. To me, Gopnik’s talent lies in his ability to make the seemingly banal sparkle. Case in point: his last book was on winter. Just, winter. The one I’m reading is about food (thus the cravings). I mean, if someone came to me and said, I’d like to write 300 pages on winter I would dismiss it as too open, too unfocused, too intangible. And frankly, too well-so-what? But Gopnik – and forgive my fawning – just seems to pull it off.
But back to the main meal on today’s plate. There are a lot of people who, if told I was reading a book devoted to romanticizing food and its significance, would respond with any combination of: Why am I not surprised; Well duh it’s Sabrina; bemused head shaking.
Still, not to wax poetic but I really do feel like food is a powerful, binding agent. And strangely, it’s become a big part of my identity. I wouldn’t call myself a foodie per se; I have neither the patience nor ardor to be vegan or ultra-local, and if it’s going to save me a few bucks then yeah, I’ll choose the non-organic carrots on the discount shelf. But I enjoy a good experimental lets-see-what-we-can-make-with-what-we’ve-got session in the kitchen. Whether you’re gathered around a familiar family dinner table or meeting new european hostel friends, sharing food creates immediate if fleeting kinship (like alcohol, without the fuzzy feeling between your temples).
This is why if I offer food, I hope the other person doesn’t decline on account of politesse. I wouldn’t were the roles reversed. It has just crossed my mind that I would have made a fabulous Italian mother.
Anyway, I am no Adam Gopnik. As such I will not try to write as extensively as he did on the simple (or perhaps not so simple) subject of food. Besides, I’m hungry.
ps: as a side note, I highly recommend my journo-friend’s food blog hilarymakes.com, which never fails to make me salivate with envy.
Note: I actually read this book and wrote this post in the summer, but just found it now and figured why not post.