Last week I
wrote about a pizza place in Avon and no one said a word. Over the holidays I
penned two articles expressing my displeasure about shopping at Discount Food
Outlet in Canton; and readers are still writing in droves to expressing their
displeasure about my perspective, even attacking me personally. More than one
comment suggested that I leave town since I didn’t like it. I was both
confronted and amused by such responses.
confrontation part is obvious, I hope—no one likes being openly despised, especially
by people they are unacquainted with. Unfortunately, humans seem all too
willing to express malice towards those people with opinions that do not match
their own (see our current political climate). In my mind, this is akin to
hating the guy next to you because you don’t like the color of his tie. Ties,
like opinions can, and do, get changed. The life that wears that tie or has
that opinion, however, is no less precious, and we are all hard-wired to
preserve it. Fortunately that is not all us humans are born with. Laughter,
they say, is the best medicine.
In another sense, I was very much amused by all the uproar realizing people’s anger was not
because of an unpopular stance on abortion or gay marriage, but a grocery store.
Now that is funny!!! I had no
idea that people were so attached to where they bought their food. Shame on me,
though, as food is always chock-full of intimate meaning for people. Lesson
In the wake of the fallout from the DFO articles, this week allow me to
offer a more personal piece that I hope will establish a context for what I
write, and why I write it; a kind of road map to my inner gastronome.
The first item on the colloquial menu is the term “connoisseur”; this is what I consider myself in the food arena. Think of it as the “who does this guy think he is?” part of my writing. The second proffering is the usefulness of critique and analysis. While criticism nearly always gets a bad rap, I think we need critics and critical understandings of any subject, food included. As subjectivity is common to all of us, being critical can actually help us appreciate even our least favorite ideas by allowing us to see there is always another side to any story. But first, the connoisseur…