United by Food

Today is a hard day. Hate spoken loudly, the news repeating it, a cruel nonstop refrain. As a blogger, I debated, should I add my voice to the digital noise, today? I will not go silent. Chances are, if you read a blog today, you are seeking escape too. Looking for comfort from a community to which you belong. So I will speak over the hate with stories of kindness between strangers, united by Food.

A person’s relationship to food might be one that is healthy, vibrant and curious. It might be one that is scary, scant, fearful and unhealthy. It might even be neutral, food can just be fuel. Whatever camp you fall into, we all share this common fact. If you are a human being alive on this earth, you have some relationship to food. Be it the one you want, wish for or regret.

I frequently share my relationship to food on CookingforBello and it’s one of love. Love of cooking, finding and exploring new cuisines through travel with Bello, my Husband. Over the last few years, it has been our fortune as a couple to travel among many countries. One thing, I know for sure through this travel, is that Food is a connector.

Those small moments you see in America, friends and family gathered for a meal, markets that bustle, a Mother feeding a child from her own body, these moments are echoed around the world. The connection is tangible, craved, celebrated, labored over, taught, sold, offered and shared.

I’ve had a Cambodian man offer me a piece of his pineapple, and a Virgin Islander hand me two mangos on hot summer days. Men with names, I do not know but with smiles I will always remember.  The pride of a local, lavished on visiting strangers.

I’ve floated between fisherman feeding a community in Cartagena and Burma. Watch a French waiter and my Italian Husband instantly bond over soccer at breakfast. Strangers in Brussels lean over their dinner table to swap travel stories.  Fellow diners delight together as the chickens came to roost tableside at the Mine Shaft Cafe in Virgin Gorda. Learned of the wonders of small glasses of wine and Cicchetti from a Venetian.

Here at home, Vermont Cheese makers have proudly shared their craft, a Californian vintner laugh warmly at my tilted attempt to label one of his bottles. An Artist shared his sketch of my Father-in-law from an adjacent table in Ohio and although they could not speak the same language, during a meal, they could share a laugh, a smile and a toast.

In traveling the world, I’ve seen how Food is a universal language. I’ve witnessed many, many acts of kindness, generosity, sharing and warmth between strangers over Food. It might be pride of our country and our cuisine that we are displaying, but it is love of our fellow man that we are sharing.

To the fellow members in the food blog community, let us raise a glass to each other tonight as we grieve around the world.

In Food, we are all united.



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