And I see Tara Hunt (viva la slow marketing!) is thinking along same lines: "Sustenance. I don't know at which point it flipped to being an art form." That book I'm writing - albeit in fits and starts - was inspired by no less than bread, fasting, feasting, Hansel and Gretel & "man doth not live by bread alone".
..Like the mature wines we drank in France, they will taste 'right'. The kind of right that happens naturally, over time, like they are supposed to. Like they've waited for that exact moment to dance across our palettes. The difference between having a conversation with an awkward teenager:me: "So, what do you think of [insert cool thing here]?"
teenager: "It sounds stupid."
...and having a conversation with an engaged, interesting, interested person. One is mildly entertaining and the other awakens your senses and pushes your imagination further. It's like the first sip of a mature wine lays out the bouquet of the ingredients the wine encountered as it went through it's lifetime as a grape and then as a liquid. The vineyards of France talk about Terroir...or the 'sense of place', which exists mostly in geography, but also in the nuances of the life cycle of the wine. A hint of apple? Perhaps the soil previously bore an orchard. The second wave of sensation hits you with a realisation of the history of the wine. We watched Sideways last night (me, for the second time) and Virginia Madsen's character discusses how she loves wine for it's unique history: how she imagines the person who picked the grapes...that with old wine, that person could be gone. Some believe the soul of everyone who is involved in the process of making the wine along the way infuses the wine with their character.
Merci beaucoup, Tara. Perfect.
His journey takes him from the pavements of Rome to the lovingly tended earth of the impoverished countryside, where he rediscovers a way of life attuned to the eternal rhythms of planting and harvesting , the enduring pulsebeat of birth and death. Slogans and political dogma fade beside the blossoming of a vision in which flesh and spirit are as inseparably joined as the bread and the wine that give this masterpiece its title and its theme . - backcover of Bread and Wine, by Italian novelist Ignazio Silone
"Writers and poets have always been fascinated by the mouth, which can probably claim more erotic literature in its own right than any other single part of the body. The language of love is filled with images of the mouth, of food and of eating, beginning with the Bible. "Thy lips, O my spouse," says the Song of Solomon, "drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue...Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits."" - The Sex Life of Food: When Body and Soul Meet to Eat, by Bunny Crumpacker
Happy feasting and wine-stomping!
p.s. Salonists join in for slow-inspired tao-er power lunches every Thursday at Vino Locale throughout harvest season starting this Oct 12th at noon. No RSVPs needed, simply show up.
images Flickr Olive and bread by Dey; what do you know a search on 'terroir' tag in Flickr yields Tara's own photo of her recent trek to southern France (this grotte is nearby the winery Daumas Gassac).