Friday, February 6, 2009

Une Gourmandise

A chef, to be a real a chef, must mobilize all the five senses.

Muriel Barbery
A course must be a joy for the sight, for the smell, for the taste, of course, but also for the touch, that so often drive the choices of the chef and has its role in the gastronomic celebration. The hearing doesn't seem to carry a lot of weight, but it's true that the act of eating is not marked of silence nor of row, because any sound that interefere with the tasting favours or hampers it: in this way the meal reveal itself definitely synaesthetic.

Uncooked tomato, eaten when just picked up from the garden, is the horn of plenty of the simple sensations, a cascade that swarms in one's mouth gathering every pleasure. The resistance of the tight skin just as much as it's enough, the tissues that melt in mouth, the liquid rich of seeds that pours at the corners of our lips and that we wipe out with no fear to make dirty our fingers, that little succulent sphere that pour in us rivers of nature: here is tomato, here is the adventure.

The real sashimi is crisp, yet it melts on one's tongue. It invites to a slow and flexuous mastication that doesn't have the purpose to change the nature of the aliment, but only to savour the aerial "soft-flabby-ness". Yes, soft-flabby-ness: Not softness, nor flabbyness, because sashimi, velvet powder similar to silk, brings in itself a few of both and, in the extraordinary alchemy of its gauzy essence, keeps a milky density that clouds don't have.

The point is not to eat nor to live, it is to know why. In the name of the father, of the son and of the cream puff, amen. I die.

(Extracts from Muriel Barbery, "Estasi Culinarie", the Italian translation of "Une Gourmandise", translation to English by me - here the Italian version)
Uhm... "crisp"?

1 comment:

Rowena said...

I can't see how she would describe sushi as crisp (or crunchy) unless the original (french) version uses a word that should have been translated as cool/cold/chilled. It might have only been misinterpreted as croccante.

"Today the weather outside is rather crisp" which is to say that it is the opposite of hot and sweltering, ergo, cold.

And crisp.

Me, I just prefer my sushi as fresh as possible.