Today I spent the afternoon wandering the streets of Toronto.
I took myself out for lunch and ordered a fancy main course and a glass of wine on the patio at a restaurant in the Kensington Market.
Initially, it felt a little strange having a nice sit down meal alone. I opened my computer and attempted to access the internet but it wasn’t working. I’m grateful it turned out that way.
I closed my computer and took my fork in hand.
I scooped my first forkful. Once it entered my mouth, I paid close attention to the temperature, the taste, the texture of the bite. I swirled the food bolus around with my tongue. I noticed each time I bit what I was biting into and what flavours came through.
I finished each bite completely before starting the next. This included getting the pieces of rice from the back of my mouth. While chewing each bite I thought of what words I could use to describe the textures and flavours I was experiencing.
I sipped my rose wine and ran my tongue over my teeth after each sip to get any remaining drips.
I admired the colours and the shapes on my plate.
I considered how many people had individually contributed to my meal. Somebody collected the initial seed, prepared the ground, planted the seed, grew and harvested the plants, sold, transported, and distributed them. Someone bought these ingredients and someone thought up the recipe. Someone made the menu, using words that sounded satisfying to my eyes and tongue. Someone cut and grilled the veggies and someone cooked the rice. Someone worked to day to serve me this meal… I could go on and on and on.
I noticed myself during the meal, wanting to start eating faster. Sometimes I would want to sip my wine while I still had food in my mouth, but I resisted.
It was a challenge.
And it was mighty enjoyable.
I very rarely taste food this way. Anyone who knows me know that I am typically more of a food inhaler. I eat it as fast as possible and then finish by saying, “Mmm that was good!”…. I think it was good, I assume it was good because you made it but… truly I don’t pay much attention to the mouthfuls my tastebuds come into contact with.
I wanted to share that experience with you and recommend you try it for yourself. For me, part of the experience was going out and dining alone, but this can be done at home too.
Make a meal that you enjoy with different tastes and textures. If you don’t wish to do this task alone, do it with a partner or friend and talk about what you are experiencing as you both remain fully present with your meal.
I’d love to hear about your experience doing this, please share!