October 6, 2017

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

We are all asked this question - what is the best thing you ever ate or what is the best restaurant you ever ate at? This question came up while I was dining at a fine steakhouse during my visit to the Supply Side West show.

For me the best restaurant I ever dined at is easy to answer. While I have had the pleasure of dining at many four star restaurants, Spice I Am in Sydney Australia is the best restaurant I ever had the pleasure to dine at. I am a huge fan of Thai cuisine, I love the mixture of spices used, Kaffir lime, lemongrass, galangal. I can still vividly remember the dishes I tried, Tom Kha Gai ( I love coconut milk) and I recommend the Pad Cha and Jungle Curry.

As wonderful as my visit to Spice I am was, it was not the best thing I ever ate. That award goes to my grandmother and her garden. My grandmother always had her small vegetable garden and I loved her tomatoes. Sometimes we would slice the tomatoes and enjoy them with cheese, but often I would eat them like an apple with just some salt.

I’m certain that these tomatoes were nothing extraordinary. I’m sure those tomatoes would have been rather ordinary if anyone had ever handed them to a chemist to analyze. But my fondness for how those tomatoes tasted had more to do with the love from my grandmother than the ratio of the various molecules in her tomatoes.

This connection between memory and flavor has always fascinated me. While we are born with taste preferences, for example babies instinctively like sweet tasting items, our preferences for aromas is not as innate. We learn to like many of the foods we are given as children. My grandmother loved limburger cheese, a taste I have never acquired. I’m sure she found my enjoyment of root beer and peanut butter and jelly equally strange.