Ode to my salad
Oh salad, I love you!
I love you from the tips of your tops to the edges of your roots, naked or smothered in dressing, endlessly different.
There is never enough of you, never too much. You are just always, so exactly what you need to be. You might not realise that you do good, your existence benefits my kind but we are blind to it, and it’s ok. Always so humble. And I am brought down to earth by your presence.
You can be so many things. You are transcending pure joy, yet we never know what we are talking about. As if all of us are a little crazy, talking in different tongues. But I digress.
You make me a little bit, how do I say it? Lost in what I found. Like a train coming to the platform and I’m the only one taking it, with my finger moving in a circular motion at the temple. Do you know what I mean? My palms get sweaty when I think about this in public. It is organic for me but our union is a secret taboo.
Looked at with judgmental glances.
Listened as if the crunch hurts someone. As if the creamy dressing is getting someone naked without their consent, or the bright colours belong only to the fucking rainbow. I’m sorry, I didn't mean to get angry, I just can't control myself when I think of you. How can they not understand you? Salads aren't just a trick to make people eat more leek. Or whatnot.
For health!? Don't get me started on this… What does it even mean?! Can it be just love, just passion for every nook and cranny you've got? As if you can't be naughty. I feel your smirk. You make me want to objectify the rest of the world. You do. It’s my fault to be so weak not to tell others how much you make me feel like a little girl or a boy. Maybe just a little. Smaller. Not in the way people used to hear words - smaller. I mean it as if I am innocent, cute and simple. As if living becomes simpler all of the sudden. No troubles, no regrets, past memories and mistakes, gone, and I am tête-à-tête with you.
It’s silly! I know it is. No amount of salad will change my mind about you. I like silly. I like different. Like you, I want to change. Inspire, brighten, and stay memorable in all the good and bad ways. I am not saying you are bad, but, I said it. It is a matter of opinion, isn’t it? All opinions exist, but they shouldn't all be expressed. Just like my love for you cannot be expressed. Or justified.
I love you!
It doesn’t matter if you have fruit - dry or fresh, chopped or whole. It doesn't matter if you have seeds and nuts, crunchy bits, croutons, or chunks of dried bread. Am I too wrong to say anything goes? It doesn't matter if there is a small variety of local produce making your body and heart, or if it's an enormous selection of the soon-to-be-gone fresh leaves, roots, stems, tops and some more leaves all from the shelf of the local mega-market. It doesn't matter to me if you are smooth or sour to taste, or if you’ve got too much mayo. Everyone loves mayo but they feel like judging you because you become indulgent. For me, you are a dream. Coming to a fruition bubbling pot of imagination. Old recipes, new recipes, a blend, and there is always space for more. Harmony. Creativity is your soul. I would eat it for breakfast. I would eat you any day, every day. You are never too much, never enough.
Oh, salad, how I wish I could scream at the top of my voice that you are anything. And I almost forgot that you’ve been naughtier. Back in the day. Full of strange stuff, the blend of mayo and pulses; and a combination of pickled mushrooms and what else? Do you remember? I can't believe that was you, perhaps one of your coming-of-age things, teenage rebel stage.
I laugh cause it's true. But I don't mean to understand you. You are you, I admire and accept what you are. Then grains and chunks of smoked chewy meats, what a delight. No one makes you better like hungry and desperate. Currently illegal in my life, you once had liver pieces. That was a glory to the abnormal nature of human taste exploration.
I’m glad it’s all over but I don't regret that you were there.
With anything you were, are, and will be. I sometimes judge myself for loving you so much. Yes, that’s the type I am. A sort of “judge yourself or nobody will”, or “don't leave judging for tomorrow when you can judge today”. I judged you too. I am not sorry. Not every hand makes a great salad. Including mine. Is that too bad? You can’t talk or have an opinion so I will take it as a judgmental glance. I eat you anyway. Rarely have I not. Many times with pickled fish, purple bits, sprinkled egg, boiled veg and mayo. Feeling slimy, raw and a little like a plasticine sculpture, you still made me intrigued and pleasantly surprised. In those moments I learned the fundamentals of balance. Not about your content, but the pleasure of choosing you as a companion. Bread or anything else. But in that past, bread, for sure. Today I might opt out for the freshly made wedges or garlic-fried bruschetta. I thought the other day - you dress in crisps and chips as well. How very strange, playful and rebellious of you. Changing from carrots with spices to layers of carbs, fats and joy.
I see you in all of your glory. You are not what people paint you to be. Often you make a side or a temporary method of survival - to lose human fat. You are more popular in January, or the first days of the week, before we give up on ourselves, including weeks before the summer holidays. You are one crazy concept and many don't like you for that. Yes, I think that most people think you are “healthy” as in if you are not the H-word then you are not yourself.
There are others too. Those who consider you only when white sauce swallows the crunchy/soft bits. Slaw or a potato salad. The only place for you is next to the “Real” food.
Don't get me started on the carbs situation. You don't have to tell me. I know there is nothing wrong with calories, combinations, or one dominating ingredient. I don't believe there is ever anything wrong with your diversity. Salads aren't meant to be prescribed, they are a great concept to fit definitions from the multiplicity of people.
Why can't we agree though?
You are the best thing in the world. Yes, you are. Yes, I love you. Yes, I will put you in my mouth. Yes, we will become one. We will be building one another, forever. As you build me, you are becoming more human and I’m becoming salad.
How is that for a concept? You give me my body, my mind, all I need. You are a superior product, yet you are nothing without, ahem, I don't want to upset you, but it's true - without me. I’m only saying that because through honesty we grow... Don't be like that. Stop making me feel like I am saying all the wrong things, you know I’m right. I shouldn’t put my worries and thoughts on the foodstuffs but it’s too late now. When I have you in my sight, you are already part of me, you are the same cloud of thoughts, the same dimension, the same reality. You are real to me, as anything you can be, in all its forms, you can be a main or a side or a dessert, breakfast, lunch, dinner, instant thing, dry, solid, liquid (though someone is more likely to call you a smoothie at that point) or gas, somehow. Maybe... I’m not familiar with many gassy, let’s be clear here - gaseous forms of food. Thought that would be absolutely sick, crazy, cool, awesome to infinity and through the black hole amazing.
Who am I to tell you all of this? What if you don't want to hear it? Why am I doing this? You make me doubt but the answer is - I care. About you, about me, about the world, about the perception of reality. Step into other people's shoes they say, well, how about stepping into the shoes of a salad? Not a metaphor, something similar, perhaps, but not an abstract concept, no. I am really talking about the salad, the real one, in all its forms, whether you like or believe it. I am talking about you, to you, because you are important, to me, and I want to be clear, I want to see and understand what you are. How you feel, would feel, if you were more real somehow.
Because you are in-between being.
Refusing, opinion dividing, antagonising. Cause of the smug and judgmental looks. It’s our fault, really.
Look, how does a part of you feel to be excluded whenever you have those carbs? How does it make you feel when you are fattier than others? How does it feel when you are made out of the freshest ingredients and taste f*cking delicious, pardon my language, but get judged regardless because you don't meet the nutritious expectations?
You are food. Food!
Meant to be eaten. Why does everyone always want something from you? Health. Fill. Status. Just run, eat bread and f*ck off.
People want tasty food. It’s just that simple. Taste is everything, it rules the world. We might be monkeys, ruled by the taste gods, of our taste buds. The monkey brain steals our independence. Satisfaction with much desired plant+ ingredients.
We become tools for living materials. For them to multiply, move forward and spread, feed on each other. We are but a vehicle for life once we get a taste for it.
So tell me again, why do you ask me all those questions? Or am I delirious?
Why do I ask all these questions, pretending to question you, salad? Sounds funny when I put it this way. You are one love, one passion, one idea that rules the world, without you in any form there wouldn't be me. Us. No matter how much we think of any other foods as superior, you rule. I don't want to say it, you are on the pedestal and I am your slave. Fine, I will say it.
Salad rules the world and everyone. You do.
Our relationship is complicated but people want to last longer. For that they have to follow your rules - grow you, nurture you, have you, deconstruct you, eat you and swallow the truth.
For the organism to work, to be strong, to build, think, spread and live, regardless of the political, philosophical, scientific, or pseudoscientific beliefs, people must live by customs of harvesting and taking care of the fields, vegetables, seasons, traditions and preparations. We have played, play and will continue your games.
You have never made us do anything, yet we follow your orders. We must, we depend on you. In all the forms you are more than the sum of your parts. You are simple yet beyond comprehension.
I will never understand you and the others but one thing I know is that I truly deeply love you and I wish, oh how I wish, that other people, like me, unlike me, more groups, societies, and populations see you as I do. I wish they tried and felt what I feel. I wish they lived! Life would be beautiful then like you are - varied, sustainable, kind, colourful, bright, crunchy, surprising, puzzling, beautiful, joyful and lively. Thank you!
Sorry! I didn't mean to cry on you. Now, I eat you and we become one.
About the Creator
The Food Guy
I read about food politics like it's a Harry Potter.
Eating my way through culture and cooking up the future.
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