I think perhaps it is a family trait because my family loves food – I mean we LOVE food – for happy and sad occasions, for small mundane decision making and for large life changing decisions, food is an integral part of the night. Even our puppy realizes that food is the center of life in our household and he eagerly awaits his next meal (before even finishing his current meal) hoping for something delicious and innovative. Maybe it is a cultural thing also: New York is known for good food and Indians are known to be able to consume large amounts of delicious food! Or maybe is it just a human trait to enjoy the activity of filling our stomachs?

I love food for many reasons, but one of the top reasons is because I get to use all five senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch) and very few activities can compare. The experience starts with seeing the plate (or bowl) of food (small or big pieces, round or square pieces, spoonfuls or heaps) and then hearing the plating of the food (a splash of soup or the sizzling of a burger on a grill) or even the ooh’s & yumm’s of people eating their food. Next, the scent of food can give away exactly what lies ahead of me. Once a friend told me – if it smells good, it tastes even better! And true to his word, when I find an aromatic meal, I know I am in for deliciousness. The various textures in a meal – grainy, smooth, tender, crisp, raw, or soft – help build a momentum to the meal because as my nose is focusing on the aroma, my mind is getting ready to chow down. And of course, my favorite is the sense of taste! All these elements before the tasting of a meal is similar to gift wrapping – it is beautiful, it is elegant, and sometimes essential…but the real gift is the food itself. And most of the time, my imagination falls just short of accurate in predicting the taste of the meal. But that is the beauty of food – you never know how delicious it truly is until you try it!
On browsing the internet, I found this amazing list of “40 Meals You Should Eat in Your Lifetime.” The list is quite impressive because it includes cuisine from every continent, except Antarctica! As I read the list, I started thinking back to the meals I have enjoyed over the last few years (around the world). They are such fond memories of time spent with family and friends. I think the experience is exponential when shared with good company.  I was inspired to make a list of my most memorable meals (in my own mind) which begs the question…what would be your top 40 meals in your lifetime?