Okay. I’ll admit it. I’m a total foodie. I love food but not just any food. I love rich, flavorful, decadent, artfully presented food. Anyone who has read The Broken Series has likely picked up on this. I spend a considerable amount of time describing food in my books… how it looks, tastes, feels, and smells. Whether it’s the garlic infused clam linguini Kri cooks for Kadyn, the lobster bisque soup Michael and Kristine enjoy by a crackling fire, or the sinfully dark chocolate mousse Kri and Rafael spoon feed each other in bed, food can be seductive.
I know which foods I find romantic… pasta, dark chocolate, olives, grapes, strawberries, pears, Manchego cheese, and crusty baguettes. I had a serious love affair with sushi until I developed a seafood allergy, which about wrecked me. Now it’s tapas. I don’t care for big plates heaped with massive amounts of food. I prefer small plates of artfully presented food with flavors so well calculated and complex you can’t help but moan when you taste it.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, but I am left pondering what makes food romantic? Is there anyone out there who finds burgers romantic? Perhaps. If your lover kissed away the juice that’s dribbling down your chin. What about fish and chips? Nachos? Pork chops? Maybe, if they’re served with mango salsa or some decadent honey garlic glaze.
There are scientific studies that seek to explain our love affair with food. Certain foods increase dopamine, norepinephrine, and oxytocin levels, the same hormones triggered by romantic attraction or when having sex. Still, most people wouldn’t consider a hard-boiled egg romantic, even if it does increase all three hormones. Eggs Benedict. Now that’s another story.
So, is it all in the presentation? I think presentation may be part of it. Food that is artfully presented can feel romantic even if it tastes mediocre at best. An overcooked pancake delivered on a breakfast tray with strawberries is still romantic even if that pancake is charred on one side. The fact that someone lovingly prepared that pancake and thought to add the strawberries makes that pancake romantic. That breakfast is a gift and an act of service, which is two (of five) love languages.
Some of our most cherished memories involve food. Most of us remember what we were eating when our spouse proposed, the meal we shared on our first date, the meal we shared on our last date, on our wedding day, during our honeymoon, and several anniversaries. Food triggers memories steeped in love, it speaks two love languages, and it seduces all five of our most basic senses… taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. Before you argue with me about food sounding seductive, I’ve got one word for you. Teppanyaki. Teppanyaki sounds all kinds of sexy. Food seduces us, just as an attentive lover would. Is it any wonder we’re so passionate about food?