There are two ways of looking at flavor. One is to see flavor technically, as a convergence of taste, smell, and texture. The other take on flavor is more existential. By all means notice the flavor of the food in the tech- nical sense, but also notice the flavor of the eating moment. Time hides itself; it slips away when unattended. It takes presence of mind to experience a moment in time. Ask yourself, “What is significant about this eating moment?” But try not to sink too deeply into this thought; try not to let your mind soar too far aloft. Just open up to the significance, if any, and let go.
Allow yourself to be aware of the irrelevancies of the eating moment. Take them in and note them, but avoid pondering them or considering them to be any deeper than they are. Here you are, Earth yourself, eating Earth, while Earth itself is spinning along on its cosmic ride— the significance of the moment need not be much more than that. Be at home in the moment, mixing mouthfuls and mindfuls
Ask yourself, “What is the flavor of this moment?” At a minimum, if you are mindful you are in touch with reality, touching the world by eating it, being touched by it as the food massages its way inside you, feeling touched by all that lived, breathed, worked, and died for you to have this eating moment. You are touched by all of this but not over- whelmed. No undue sentimentality is required. Simply eat—just eating quietly and gracefully, with awareness. Note the significance, but don’t cling to it. Feel subtle awe of this life process without being paralyzed or taken aback by these invisible connections that unite us all in the triviality and momentousness of eating.
Find the moment-specific poignancy of this experience and let it pass. In searching for this flavor, release any expectations. It need not be existentially jalapeño. A plain vanilla moment would do just fine.
adapted from “Reinventing the Meal” (Pavel Somov, New Harbinger Publications, 2013)
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