Personal Essays · The Curious Cook

In remembrance of lost tastes

Name just one other thing in this world that is as evocative as food. I tend to voraciously devour almost any book I can find and spend far too many hours watching films; but nothing, absolutely nothing is as immediate, all-encompassing and deeply fundamental as the memories that can be unlocked in just one bite.

The wonderful American writer, director and die-hard foodie Nora Ephron had a special way of writing about food in the context of a rich, full, complex life. In her famous bittersweet collection of essays I Feel Bad about My Neck (2006) she included an op-ed piece she wrote for the New York Times about the regret of not eating more of a particular food that ended up vanishing out of her life. In “The Lost Strudel or Strudel le Perdu” she elaborates thus:

“Food vanishes. I don’t mean food as love, food as habit, food as memory, food as biography, food as metaphor, food as regret, or food as in those famous madeleines people like me are constantly referring to as if they’ve read Proust, which in most cases they haven’t. I mean food as food. Food vanishes.”

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The Curious Cook

Every romance has a humble beginning

“I have made friends who begin with pasta, and friends who begin with rice, but whenever I fall in love, I begin with potatoes…” writes Nora Ephron in her wonderful early novel Heartburn. “Sometimes meat and potatoes and sometimes fish and potatoes, but always potatoes. I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.”

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