Start with taste. Imagine a moment when the sensation of honey or sugar on the tongue was an astonishment, a kind of intoxication. The closest I have ever come to recovering such a sense of sweetness was secondhand, though it left a powerful impression on me even so. I am thinking of my son’s first experience of sugar: the icing on the cake at his first birthday. I have only the testimony of Isaac’s face to go by (that, and his fierceness to repeat the experience), but it was plain that his first encounter with sugar had intoxicated him — was in fact an ecstasy, in the literal sense of that word. That is, he was beside himself with the pleasure of it, no longer here with me in space and time in quite the same way he had been just a moment before. Between bites Isaac gazed up at me in amazement (he was on my lap, and I was delivering the ambrosial forkfuls to his gaping mouth) as to exclaim, “Your world contains this? From this day forward I shall dedicate my life to it” (which he basically has done). And I remember thinking, this is no minor desire, and then wondered: Could it be that sweetness is the prototype of all desire?
– Michael Pollan, from The Botany Of Desire
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Food writer, Italian food ambassador, cookbook author and award-nominee home chef in web series.
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