Food, glorious food

Anna Grummitt eats her top meal of 2021, and reflects on how food is something to be delighted in, and an integral part of being human.

I’m calling it early: on Sunday, I had my top meal of 2021.

For our anniversary, my husband and I treated ourselves to an incredible five-course set menu of authentic Peruvian food at a Sydney restaurant. And we didn’t leave a single crumb on our plates. The quality of the food combined with the atmosphere – which featured traditional live music in an intimate space – made for a thoroughly enjoyable experience overall.

It made me think that George Bernard Shaw was onto something when he wrote, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” Certainly, most Peruvians (my husband included) will list the things they miss most about their homeland as food, family, and friends – in that order.

Food is obviously essential for sustaining life. But for those of us who are fortunate enough to not have to worry about when our next meal will come, good food is about much more than survival. It’s about pleasure, creativity, and relationships. It’s about celebrating culture, making memories, and remembering old ones. Seen in this light, it’s understandable that some of us (*raises hand sheepishly*) are still obsessed with MasterChef, even in Season 13.

In the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible, the joy of food comes out on almost every page. Jesus regularly invited himself to people’s houses for meals, and his miracles often involved food and drink. He spent the night before he died feasting with his closest friends, and after rising again he cooked them breakfast on the beach. Jesus even metaphorically described the ‘kingdom of God’ as a great banquet, where all are invited.

Jesus treated food as something to be delighted in, something to savour with others, and as an integral part of being human. After Sunday’s lunch, I’ll raise a glass to that.