“You must first find someone to eat with, rather than something to eat.”
One of the pluses of working in a multicultural office is making friends from around the globe. I am lucky enough to work with and be able to befriend people from more than fifteen different countries. One of my newest colleagues-turned-confidantes is an Italian named Gionni. He’s twenty-nine and has a trinacria tattooed on his right arm. One of the things I love about him is that he cooks. And he loves to cook for other people.
With our shared love of the kitchen, we decided to have dinner nights where we cook for one another and try out new recipes. Last night was one such evening…mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, penne with chicken, Nero d’Avola wine…
It was all around a wonderful evening and got me thinking…why don’t Americans share their dinner table more often?
I know this is common for date night among couples and people in the same generation as my parents, but why not the young, single, able-bodied twenty and thirty somethings? Why do we not invite our friends over and cook for them? Good cooking can be laborious but worthwhile. And the act of creating something for someone else is rewarding in itself. Why not make a meal as a sign of platonic love? Is it our generation’s lack of interest in the culinary arts or the idea of entertaining someone without the guarantee that the gesture will be reciprocated? Or is it more simply, that some of us still cannot afford enough food for a small group of weekly diners?
I don’t know, but if it were possible, this is something I would change. Much like the American personal space bubble, we have retreated to a society that dines alone far too often. We have designated the activity of home cooking strictly for families and romantic occasions. But why?
Dining is an experience. It’s social. It’s an essential part of your day in the limited quantity you have left. Food is to be appreciated as are people.
Why not enjoy them together?