Disclosure: This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. This post has affiliate links.
Perdu asks, “Can eating heal you? With every bite of food steeped in the herbs and oils of Provence he seemed to absorb a little more of the land that lay ahead.… Already he could taste the wild banks of the Loire, covered in forests and vineyards.”
Can eating heal? As a self-professed foodie, most certainly YES. It’s not the action of eating that heals. It’s the people you share meals with.
I love to tell people I can travel the world without leaving Upper Darby. I can also eat my way across the cultures through the women of my English practice class.
The first meal I enjoyed was Pide from Turkey. The woman who prepared the dish sat with tears in her eyes as she recounted an encounter with the police. An empty dish later, we were crying, laughing, and clowning the police.
The next meal was a potluck from the students. Sushi with wasabi, Moroccan cookies, empanadas, and chicken with orange rice smothered in cucumber sauce
was the setting as we talked about the challenges of fertility, husbands who weren’t as supportive as we would like, and dreams of the future.
Not all our meals are sad. There are times when food is used to celebrate a new job, a new citizen, or just because we felt like having a meal.
If anyone would have told me that I would not only eat strange (read not my usual American fare) food, I would have scoffed at the idea. If I were told that I would enjoy couscous with my fingers, eat from a communal pan of injera,
or tuck into a homemade dish from a Haitian woman, I would have said “Kick ALL the rocks!”. No one has kicked any rocks, and I have yet to scoff at anyone or anything.
Each time I break bread with my ladies, I stop being the teacher and become one of them. My problems end where their’s begin and vice versa. As we enjoy the tastes of the world, we learn a little more about each other.