Food as a Feast

Food as a Feast

feast n. banquet, lavish meal; something very pleasant, sumptuous…
food n. solid nourishment; what one eats; mental or spiritual nourishment…

Hence the conundrum of everyday, healthy living as very clearly stated by my little Collins Gem of an English dictionary. And of course confirmed, stated and underlined every Saturday morning at the delectable fresh produce market above Granger Bay where I find myself salivating on the wrong end of another glorious roquefort and cream filled quiche. A dilemma that repeats itself with religious monotony whenever I’m in our local deli, supermarket, cafe or in the Auvergne piling a basket with pain de campagne, heaps of sweet organic baby potatoes or the best cheeses France has to offer. And I’m hesitant to mention the walnut oils, truffle oils, olive oils…

Food as a Feast

Just at the point where I was groaning ‘my kingdom for enlightenment’ (only the French would barter a horse at this point… one source of protein I simply can’t eat!), the penny dropped. Loudly. With a little bit of help from Elizabeth David on the one side and the fabulous Mireille Guiliano, author of ‘French Woman Don’t Get Fat’, on the other, I suddenly realised where I should be going with my insatiable lust for a feast… in all senses of the word… while still inhabiting a 5 foot frame (kid you not) with a penchant for skinny jeans. Ms David single handedly taught the English about the culinary delights of the medi, introducing amongst others cream, Parmesan cheese and duck fat to that island. Whilst Mme Guiliano, and the rest of the French, is trying to teach us to guiltlessly enjoy the splendid food and wine that is available. Just less of it. And here is the catch.

A lot less. Never again will you fill your plate to the brim. Never again will you indulge in quaffing down 2 deep fried potatoes …and another one afterwards in the kitchen… while you are desperately trying to convince yourself that you will totally be able to squeeze in just a small dollop of that fabulous lemon meringue you spotted sweating deep ochre sugar droplets as you made your way to the laden table. Non, madame, mademoiselle. You will not! You will delicately help yourself to half a potato, a small morsel of skinned chicken breast, a gentle helping of crisp greens, a soupcon salad, even a small slice of cheese which will be elegantly washed down with a chilled glass of really excellent sauvignon blanc and then maybe, just maybe, half a desert spoon of that meringue. Enough. And you will feel great. You will have tasted everything and you won’t be bursting at the seams. And tonight you will enjoy a warm cup of ginger tea with a drop of honey in it. You can go to bed whilst happily indulging in the thought that today you’ve given your body the food it needed and enjoyed. And that tomorrow at that fab new restaurant you’re having dinner, you will order whatever you want … in starter portions. With a single glass of wine.

The food vs feast idea is not a new one, I’m sure. We need food. Our bodies need the fuel and nourishment that a healthy, active lifestyle demands. Our senses though, need a feast. The equation is simple. Love what you eat. Eat what you love.

Just less.

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