Savoring

Last night was the monthly meeting of my writer’s group, and one of the ladies introduced us to something none of us had ever experienced: Mochi ice cream.

It was delightful, and once I googled it, I found out how incredibly easy it is to make, so I will definitely be attempting that once summer arrives.

But I really found it interesting how differently I reacted to tasting this new food, compared to the other ladies.  I’ve noticed this before: I am a supremely sensual/tactile person; I haven’t “seen” something until I have touched it, and while certain noises (like nails on a blackboard) drive other people crazy, sounds don’t bother me.  It’s certain touches that set my teeth on edge: I cannot, for instance, take the cotton out of a medicine bottle with my bare hands.  Even thinking about doing that makes me cringe.

I am all about the touch.  Other people don’t seem to notice most of this, but they do notice how I eat (maybe because of the general touchiness about weight/eating disorders/obesity that we have in the States.)  They notice that I take longer to eat than they do, and that I seem to eat less (and I use the word ‘seem’ because they don’t see how I’m constantly eating, all day long.  I don’t confine myself to three meals a day – I think I have Hobbit blood in me).

The reason for both those things is simple: I am tactile, and I savor my food the same way I savor everything good in life.   I don’t understand how people can just pop something in their mouths, chew it up, and swallow it down.  How can they truly enjoy something that takes them seconds to consume?  When I ate my first Mochi, I wanted to do more than just taste it.  I wanted to see how the rice coating felt against my tongue, and how it turned from stiff and cold and powdery, to soft and sticky and sweet.  I wanted to test the texture of the ice cream as it melted, and how the different stages of rice coating and ice cream melded together and made a constantly changing array of sensation.  I wanted to see how it felt to lick it, to bite it, to roll it inside my mouth and let it become ephemeral as it melted away.  I could have spent three times as long as I did, eating that first Mochi.

I eat everything the same way.  A handful of M&Ms take me half an hour to eat, because it would be such a waste not to play with them, to discover how many different ways there are of eating an M&M.  My current favorite is to hold two under my tongue until that perfect moment when the chocolate inside is melted, but the candy coating is still hard.  Then I break each one apart in a lovely soft crunch and splash of warm chocolate.

This world delights me too much not to take my time with every moment…even things as everyday as eating.

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