I’ve been thinking lately. I know, a bad idea. Right? I know what I need to do to make a name for myself. The phrase “make a name” here having the meaning of increasing my popularity by performing some memorable action. I’ve decided that in order to be noticed and remembered, I will devise some theories. Seeing as I love to eat, I think that my theories will be related to food. Sounds tantalizing, no? Some of the best theories are extrapolations I like that word and derivatives like calculus of other theories. Therefore, I think I’ll start with Plato.
The Form of the Food.
The Form of the Food is the highest concept in Food Theory; it is not an entity, for it transcends the concept of existence. The Form of the Food is that which all other forms come from. All forms, such as hunger, taste, connoisseurism and savoriness derive from the ultimate form: Food. Food is that which allows all else to exist and brings about all that is. We cannot attain true forms, nor can we experience them; we can only experience imitations of each. That means when you listen to Michael Jackson music, you don’t experience the true Michael Jackson, only an imitation. That makes me wonder, does the true Michael Jackson have a real nose?
Whenever you eat a waffle, you are not experiencing Waffle. Whenever you bite into an apple, the true Apple is present, but it is not what you are eating. You taste an apple; you see an apple; you feel an apple, but you do not eat the Apple. Every food item that you consume is but an imitation, every feeling which you experience is but a copy of the true feeling. The taste that you employ to savor a strip of bacon, this is not the true Taste that could savor the true Bacon. Nothing is truly real, what we see are merely copies of the actual.
The Allegory of the Oven
Let me help you visualize this concept with an allegory. Imagine a situation in which three and a half people are tied to the bottom of an oven rack, unable to move their bodies or heads. They have been this way since birth and have known only the bottom of the oven as their reality. They see the shadows cast by the food upon the bottom of the oven and they take these to be real objects. They study these shadows and give them names. Every now and then, a crumb will fall to them and they are able to experience a fraction of the food, but it is not the Food. One day, one of the people is freed and is able turn around and see the actual Food. He is astonished and finds these things too strange to be true. He does not accept them and turns back to the shadows. Furthermore, imagine that he catches a glimpse of the glowing red-hot oven coils. He will be blinded and frightened and wish for his imitations. Ignore the fact that these people have to withstand really hot temperatures and uncomfortable back cramps. Those are minor inconveniences when you can’t taste fresh cookies.
You see, this is an example of our experience of Food. We can only pretend to eat as we pseudo-taste the mock-ups of the actuals and originals. So the next time you eat a waffle, Pop Tart, or pie, just remember that there is something better out there. The food you are experiencing is good, but it is not Food. It is merely a shadow cast upon the face of your plate. Don’t try to eat actual shadows though. That could be awkward, especially if you’re in a restaurant.
This concludes the first of my theorizations upon the impact of the culinary and the hypothetical. But don’t worry, there will be more… Or maybe you should worry…