Last night, I took a 30 minute taxi with a friend of my boyfriend. The taxi driver asked me things like where I was from, what I did, how the weather was in Canada. I, in return, also asked him where he was from, how old his kids were etc. After all the chit chatting, it seemed like we had nothing more to say. Then, one question changed the rest of the drive: So what Peruvian food did you try and what did you like the most? Causa, ceviche, guinea pig, chupe de camarones etc so much food came up and we exchanged preferences, which region is the best to eat a certain food, which restaurant is good for what etc etc! We could have gone on and on without realizing we were in the next city, there was so much to say and talk about. Later on that night, we got together with a group of people that were starting their travels in Peru. We went to a restaurant, ate, talked about many things, including food. It just made me realize how food is a main subject of conversation anywhere you go, whoever you are with… and therefore…food=social.
Since a very young age, our parents tell us how important it is to have a good, healthy, big breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. Then, lunch is also very important because it is what fuels us to go on for the rest of the day and it is what gives our brain its energy to think and work and study. Then dinner, well, that is family time, and it is also important. We eat 3 times a day, maybe even more for some of us, or if you count snacks. Inevitably, food is part of our daily lives, our routine, and we just LOVE it.
I remember a few months ago, I was having dinner with some friends, and talking about food. It is something so social and important in our daily lives. We get together with friends, we have a bottle of wine, we cook, we sit down and we eat good food. Often, unconsciously, while we are eating we find ourselves talking about food, other types of food, what we had last week etc etc.
During the English class I was giving on Wednesday, the conversation seemed to have died….and then it revived when we starting talking about food: what you like, what you don`t, what food is exported from Peru, what is produced etc. We also talked about the marketing of food: Peruvian cuisine has increased in international popularity mainly because in the last few years it has properly been marketed. Although you are a group of strangers from different backgrounds, the one thing there is always something to say or talk about seems to be food.
As women, it seems like we ALWAYS talk about food: what diet we tried, which one worked, which one didn`t, what has more sugar, or less calories , how many pounds we lost, what food helped us loose or gain those extras.
The recurring joke in my family for someone who loves to eat and is not picky with what they eat is: His favorite dish: food. This is completely directed to my brother, who loves to eat, who stays skinny and eats what he wants and as much as he wants.
In the end, I believe that we only live once, and those of us who enjoy having good food should not worry about the points we get with what we eat, but rather enjoy the company we are with while eating what we love and just keep talking about food.