I’ve long been accused of being a voracious eater – taking HUGE bites, eating with rapid and ravenous fury. I was never worried that “someone was going to take it away from me”, which was my dad’s contention. I simply adored the sensation of a full mouth, inhaling all the wondrous scents and flavors of food while my hyper-sensitive mouth relished all the lovely differing textures of crunchiness and mushiness and liquidities within, all the while not being able to wait to take yet another bite. Anticipation itself is an ingredient in good food, and the possibility of sensory overload was not met with fear but a great….anticipation.
Last Sunday, I discovered yet another physical facet of eating pleasure. Incredibly, it was due to a collision with my upper lip and a hideously large blob of sauce from one of my famous sandwich creations*. We all lick our lips when eating and don’t even realize it because evolution has erased it from our memories. It’s simply instinct without recognition. What made me sit back and take notice this time was the licking unearthed this humongously oversized blob of sauce — not just a little dribble, but a sizeable tongueful — that redistributed fresh new flavor with the existing food in my mouth. There also was the sensitivity in my upper lip – almost like it was a second tongue and could detect other flavor subtleties, which is completely logical, if only because that skin is positioned directly below the nostrils and is much lighter in texture. All I know is, it took all the flavors and made their combinations not additive in nature, but exponential. Like an MSG blast in that Kung Pao Beef, or the extra flowage of melted cheddar in the Juicy Lucy after you thought it had all been consumed in the first two bites. Or finding a $20 bill in a coat pocket and trying to eat it all with one trip to Taco Bell. Okay, that one’s different, but who cares. The experiment was worth it.
So what does this mean? Easy. I’m getting my face in it more from now on. Rest assured, I won’t smear food on my upper lip when I’m eating with you in public, because it looks terrible and I have more manners than that. But I will be doing it when I dine in my home. Bet your life on it. And licking my plate as well. Here’s to getting your face in it.
Now go eat something. – Jack
* What was the sandwich sauce in question? Contents from an Arby’s Original Sauce packet. I’m not ashamed to admit that either. It was incredible. -JL