So driving home today, I started having crazy thoughts. I've been known to have secret binge sessions, where I sneak over to a fast food joint and buy something ridiculous on the menu. WHY? I have no idea. Maybe it's the sugar rush. I remember a few weeks ago, I went to McDonalds for a chicken biscuit. It was weird. I ate it like I was in some kind of weird trance. It wasn't even that good, but I got a food high off of it and it just made me feel lousy for the rest of the day.
There are some foods that are really easy for me to turn down on a good day, while there are others that make me feel like crying for not being able to have. Pathetic, yes? Things like cultural food, things that I grew up with like plantains, handmade tortillas, those things make me feel so sad for not having them. Yet now I understand that it's not the food itself, it's the environment that it makes me remember. I remember my mom frying plantains for breakfast during the weekdays, and my dad making tortillas and eggs on the weekend.
When I see cake, it reminds me of birthday parties. Pie reminds me of the holidays. Cookies remind me of the end of soccer games. McDonalds reminds me of my return from a two week trip to Italy, where I fasted throughout the day and ate vegetarian meals, and came home asking that my first meal back in the US be something from those horrible golden arches. And ice cream? Ice cream is like summer days when my mom took use to Tastee Freeze, the tiny run-down ice cream stand back home, which boasted two-inch thick bullet proof glass and soft serve cones.
I'm discovering that food is my gateway to memories, which is horrible. I shouldn't need to eat bad food in order to reminisce, but god help me if the smell of paella doesn't bring tears to my eyes. Some people's comfort food is fried chicken, and others have brownies. Mine? My comfort food is a baguette cut in half, smothered with tomatoes, some olive oil, and a little salt. Some have called it "the poor man's bruischetta". My mom calls it "pan de tomat'". I call it the bane of my existence.