December 26 – Soul Food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
In Iceland, there is this restaurant called Fish Market, which was included as a part of Frank Bruni’s 2009 review of Reykjavik. If you follow my tweets, you may know that I love most things Scandinavian. One might even argue that I collect Swedish friends (but this would be an exaggeration; I would say it is mere happenstance). But I loved my trip to Iceland. LOVED it.
Anyway, included in Bruni’s review, and in my own travels, was a dinner at a restaurant called Fish Market (though my own dinner there was influenced not by Bruni’s review, rather by a late afternoon nap that drifted into evening, and an easily available table there versus several of the less-expensive places in town. Indeed, austerity has affected us all.)
I don’t eat meat, but I still eat fish. And Fish Market has it all. Including…whale. If you count whale as fish. Though I won’t admit whether I ate it or not.
But I ordered the cod hot pot: cod; black rice; lemon balm. Perfection. Warm, appetizing, it was delicious. The meal was everything I like about food. And I don’t always like food. It was familiar, the way the ocean is familiar. Like we’re all reminded of our mothers and wombs when we smell saline. Or something. Supposedly we’re like 75% salt water. Or maybe that’s something I just made up, because I’m a Pisces.
This meal was mind-blowing. It made me miss all the meals I had skipped; and it made me want to eat all the meals I might forsake in the future. This food was soul food, the kind of sustenance that made me realize the things I had been missing; made me aware of the things I had lost.
I know you’re not me. I know your relationship with food is probably pretty ordinary — that is, that food gets you from point A to point B, and you probably don’t look at every meal like its your mortal enemy. But if you DO ever struggle, just know, that a meal like the one that I had at Fish Market is the kind of meal that gives a girl hope that food is for eating, not wounding, and flavor gives hope, it does not cause grave harm.
And if you’re going to go to Iceland, and you’re going to go to Fish Market, and you’re going to order the cod hot pot, may I recommend an icy cold Sauvignon Blanc? Just trust me on this one.