We all have our obsessions. Wine. TV. Guinness on draught. The Internet. Photography. Traveling. Religion. Books. Anything composed or performed by Jack White. LOST. Art. Wall calendars. Star Wars. The warm underbelly of our cats. It doesn’t matter what it is that you obsess over, what haunts your dreams, what you put down in your journal every single day, or what all of your friends know they can get you as a gift and you’ll be relatively happy – if you ever view this obsession at a distance… that’s porn.
Oxford’s Dictionary sums it up thusly: “television programs, books, etc., regarded as catering to a voyeuristic or obsessive interest in a specified subject”. In other words; stuff relating to the stuff you love.
That is exactly what Monday’s episode of No Reservations was all about. Talking about, thinking about, preparing, and watching someone eat something that either you’ll never get the chance to eat (the still alive abalone comes to mind), probably wouldn’t have laying around the house (remember the sea urchin roe?), or just food that you absolutely love (remember, they opened with carnitas, mmm carnitas). I loved this episode. Tony’s profuse use of the “F” word should probably be a gauge, from here on out, of how delicious and over-the-top each dish on No Reservations actually is. Did you see this dessert? When it arrived Tony just could help himself. I think he crapped in his pants. No, really, ask him. I bet he did.
The main message of this episode, and it was certainly not a hidden one, was that America is absolutely obsessed with Food Porn. Countless television programs are dedicated to food. Making it. Eating it. Traveling to the corners of the earth to find the most disgusting varieties of it. The manufacturing of it in bulk. The distribution of it. And challenging those who aspire to be great at preparing it. Twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. Endless streams of TV-PG Food Porn. Tony made an excellent point… many people are watching great food being made and eaten but they aren’t doing it themselves. Ahem, Tony – check out Eat Weird. Revolution! Perhaps we should all strive to do a little more doing and a little less watching. Well, watching isn’t bad – but not doing isn’t good.
What kind of food to you obsess over? Greasy meat? Beer? Fresh, delicate sushi? A vegetable medley? Anything with bacon? Wine? Spicy food? Simple, elegant, nearly perfectly presented hors d’oeuvres? Maybe you’re into desserts? Tapas from your local bar? A seven year old, oak barrel fermented, scotch whiskey from a small glen in Scotland? All of the above!
If you haven’t yet had the chance to catch this week’s episode of No Reservations you can check out the schedule to see when it airs again in your local area. Note: Eat before you watch this episode, otherwise you’ll find yourself scouring your kitchen cupboards for anything that is bad for you. Oh, and be sure to check out the photo journal, behind the scenes photos, and blog post by Anthony Bourdain. All are worth a look this week.