They say our moods mellow with age. I would add that the spiciness we enjoy in our foods does, too. When I was young I liked it the hotter the better, with absolutely no repercussions the next day.
Beggar’s Banquet was a favorite in my college’s town. They rated each day’s batch of chili according to the number of beers you would need to finish a bowl. I think they called beer “sympathy for the devil.” In my case sympathy was pepsi because I’ve never liked beer. If they had served milk, I might have had that. Because milk coats and fireproofs the tongue. But more likely I would have considered milk the drink of amateurs.
Now that I am gracefully mellowed, I no longer like my food hot and wild. Nowadays I like it intelligently spiced: A subtle kick; a slight warm heat at the very back of my tongue and palate; a perfect balance of flavors – of sweet and heat, warm and cool.
Palates, like people become more sophisticated as they age. They appreciate the beauty and nuances of subtlety and balance. And if they’ve been cooking all those mellowing years, they’ve been learning how to achieve it.
Today’s list of the gifts for which I am grateful is all about the food God has given us: the variety of colors and flavor combinations; culinary artists who know how to extract amazing flavors and inspire us to do the same; flavors that burst in our mouths; stunning presentations of plates and platters.
You, God, could have made the nourishment of our bodies bland – mere utility eating. But You didn’t, You made it glorious. Like You. Thank you.