By: Juan Cerda
Dearest food: I don’t know how to thank you for the profound effect you have had in my life; how, like medicine, you’ve made me all better.
Oh food, how I’ve come to love you! As a child, I was naive and could not appreciate the wonders of your natural bounties. I foolishly resisted the temptations of your leafy emerald greens, the vivid crimsons of your little berries, and oranges of carrots so cleverly buried underground. Now older, wiser, I’ve succumbed to your charms, and indulge in the pleasures of sharp leafy kale, the tangy bite of a cranberry, or the sweet bliss of a roasted carrot. You’re my everyday regimen for a sweeter existence.
Oh food, how you have come to be so good for me! I used to gorge on the ruinous perversions of so called “fast foods,” and delighted in the sugary concoctions harbored inside the cardboard vessels and plastic devices of mass packaging. Alas, these wicked inventions of mankind made me an unhappy overweight adolescent. It was the perils of diabetes and heart disease, ailments that have fallen unto so many members of my family and civilization alike that moved me into action. I learned that you, food, the thing that threatened my well-being, was the only way to my healing.
Oh food, how you’ve come to be a part of me! When I come home after a long day of work at an unfulfilling job, full of stress and disparagement, the thought of coming to you exhilarates me. How I think fondly of you, and the way you satiate all of my senses, with your intoxicating aromas, splendid array of colors, and luscious textures in my mouth. How I spend some time each day thinking about the best way to prepare you, and which one of you will come next. Whether in the simplicity of a sauteed vegetable medley, or the toiling of making a fruit tart, food, you’ve become more than a pastime. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized your importance in my own heritage.
Food, you’ve been not only sustenance for my family but what made my grandfather’s livelihood. His love affair with you was passed on to my mother and she has shown me what love can do for food; there is not a dish she has prepared without putting her soul into it. My father has also submitted to your charms. Growing up, I remember there were times where he would spend the entire day in the kitchen, laboring to make his special empanadas. Watching him, I felt a great sense of admiration for both of you. How I admired how he prepared the ingredients, and handled the dough into submission. And you, food, how you enticed such a sizable man into falling in love with you!
Oh food, wonderful food! I am grateful for the impact you’ve had in my life. You’ve molded me, influenced me, changed me, made me completely better. You are much more medicine than anything a doctor could order.
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