November 14, 2018

Food for Thought

These Indian sweets made me wonder what native American Indian sweets are like. (I already digressed in the first sentence.) After I saw a post by @ethnojunkie about this dessert shop in Jackson Heights, tension built in my head that could only be released by going there. I asked the lady behind the counter to select a dozen of them for me. I ate most of them myself. They were all good.

In any activity we undertake, there are always at least two motives at play. In this particular case, enjoying the sweets is one but enjoying the social connection with @ethnojunkie is another. The latter may not be so obvious but by going to the same store he went to, I not only share the same experience (albeit asynchronously) but also know more about who he is. In fact, for most normal human beings, socializing is the primary motive (the truth) when they go out to restaurants, and the food is the secondary motive (the pretext). However, when foodies go out together to a restaurant, the truth and the pretext flip; food is the truth (to be able to taste many different dishes by sharing the cost), and socializing is the pretext. Truth and pretext are not mutually exclusive and can shift over time.

To put more weight on food than on people, you need to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum; this is why we foodies tend to be somewhat (or full out) nerdy. Normal humans (i.e. neurotypical) use the food as a conversation starter (pretext) so that they can get to juicier topics (the truth). For foodies, talking about the food is an end in itself (the truth), so the topic never shifts.

If you are going out on a date with a bona fide foodie, remember that you are only a pretext for him to enjoy the food; not the other way around.

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