If anyone has lifted the act of dining to an art form extraordinaire it is the Italians. Their approach to eating is definitely a tradition I’d like to cultivate for pleasure’s sake, as well as for health.
A meal in Italy is a courtship. It begins with a sense of expectancy and joy. Those at the table are about to share an adventure! Together! It is a happy thing! There is an unspoken understanding that the conversation will be pleasant and that there will be laughter and good cheer.
Courses will be dawdled over and enjoyed. There is no hurry–why rush when everyone is gathered around the table and everyone is having such a swell time?
Meals leisurely unfold like the telling of a story told many times before, but repeated for the pure pleasure of the re-telling. Dinner may not begin until 8 or so, and then may last for hours. Dining with friends is the highlight of the day, and the evening’s entertainment.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this dinner devotional must contribute a great deal to the emotional well being, as well as to the general health of the Italian people.
All of this is but a preamble to my confession. I do wish that I had taken my dinner at the Royal Panda tonight rather than bringing it home to eat alone.
It was a great dinner, and I did enjoy changing out of my clothes and getting comfy, but tomorrow I plan to do things differently and to make at least one of my meals a special occasion by enjoying my Wu Food with friends.