Food Theory — Part 2

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A continuation of Food Theory — Part 1. 

From Plato, we move to the theological. The Form of the Food is the highest concept in Platonic theory, but what shall we give to those for whom there must exist a maker? Obviously, the food must come from somewhere. To the religious, the Chef is the entity who has created the food. The Chef’s work is written in his Cookbook and recorded for all to read. The religious still hold that one day the Chef will return and establish his kitchen on earth and abolish all hunger. Along with Burger King, that should have been abolished long ago.

In the beginning, there was naught. The Chef looked down from his kitchen and said “let there be food” and there was food. The Chef looked upon this food and saw that it was good. He saw, however, that there was something lacking. He spoke to the people of the Dining Room and gave them a command: “Go unto all the tables, eating the food that I have created, sharing it with others and feasting merrily.” Now, the people of the Dining Room were evil, and when they saw the greatness of the feast that had been placed before them, they were seized with envy. Each man fought with his brother over the contents of his plate. Soon, the glorious feast that had been prepared by the Chef was gone–destroyed in the gluttonous fighting. The Chef came in from his kitchen and saw the mess that filled the Dining Room. His sadness was great, so he told the people, “because you disobeyed my command, you have brought hunger down upon yourselves.” From thence came hunger. This is why all humans are now hungry. ~ Ancient Hunger Myth

Many throughout the ages have disputed the authority, even the existence, of a divine Chef.  The scientific community holds that all food began as a giant ingredient “soup.” As the state of the ingredients grew more and more agitated, a giant explosion was propagated. From this came a very basic form of food. All other, more complicated, forms of food evolved from this first form. Like cream puffs. Have you ever tried to make those? They’re complicated!

The Chef is Dead. ~ Nietzsche Life is cyclical. Nom.

Friedrich Nietzsche believed that the Chef was a fabrication of people’s minds. His famous quote (seen above) is usually taken as a non-literal interpretation of the concept of a Chef. The Chef is not seen as an actual cook, but rather a conceptual visualization of how Nietzsche believed that the Chef was no longer a viable belief. Rather like the idea of a cook at McDonald’s. A novel idea, but far-fetched and hopeless nonetheless.

Nietzsche held that culinary perfection could be obtained for all through the creation of new recipes under the concept of Übermensch. (loosely translated Super-Muffin) He also believed that the food realm was cyclical, and all possible combinations of ingredients would be obtained during the cycles of the kitchen. Cantaloupe Pasta, meatball ice cream, and cabbage flavored chewing gum. Of course, he has since died, and with his body, his theories rotted away over time.

I would be remiss to speak of culinary deities without bringing up the newest and most tasty of them all. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is generally regarded among the masses of the patrons of the internet cafés as the highest being in the kitchen. The FSM gladly bestows his grace and meatballs upon all who come before him with humor and wit. Unfortunately, the Church of the FSM is quite unorganized and resembles a random WordPress blog. And nobody reads those. Obviously.

Until next time… enjoy those Big Macs.
~ XK


Food Theory — Part 1

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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…