Essays · Food/Drink/Recipes

My Favorite Food

This week we are showcasing the work of Adam Finley, who passed away last month at age 30.

by Adam Finley

I have a very unsophisticated palate. My tongue is not excited by food, and food is not that interested in lingering on my tongue for too long. As a sensory device, my tongue is content with hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, and any victuals that can be deep-fried or easily thrown together by reading directions from the back of the box. On those rare occasions when something exotic passes over my lips, my tongue simply shrugs its non-existent shoulders and sighs, “Next.”

For many people, the meeting of tongue and food is a religious experience. They spend hours preparing food, their tongues moistened with saliva, anticipating the dance. When they finally lift that first moiety to their eager lips, they let the substance linger on their tongue, savoring every molecule as time and space come to a standstill. I have no time for that. I become impatient making a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich, and the thing is half-eaten before I even make it to the couch. If I have to use a toaster, I bring a book to read.

My tongue is like an elderly family member indifferent to everything they receive for their birthday, but like that elderly person, my tongue can become joyfully surprised if presented with just the right gift, at just the right time. I have discovered that Sour Brite Crawlers, those grainy, sour gummi worms that would normally cause a slight backwash of vomit to shoot up my esophagus, can become The Most Exalted Of All Food Items if I am in fact really, really high. They are not, however, my favorite food, and it should be known that marijuana also causes me to put Thousand Island dressing on tater tots, so it’s not a good indication of what food items I typically desire. Nor can I tout those Reese’s Peanut Butter holiday confections, which are only available during Easter (as eggs) or Christmas (as trees). Yes, I love them, but I’m not in love with them.

There is only one consumable that can send a rapturous tide of deliciousness across my taste buds no matter what my state of mind happens to be, and that is egg nog. I don’t know what it consists of, and I don’t want to know. All I know is that when Christmastime rolls around I’m making weekly trips to the grocery store to stock up on thick, delectable nog. I approach nog as I would a summer fling that I know, sadly, will not last forever. I romance the nog. I drive the nog to a clearing at the top of a hill and put my arm around it as we gaze over the city. I write sonnets about the moon and read them to the nog. I walk into bars holding the nog close to me, basking in its noggishness and grinning smugly at all those jealous eyes that follow our every move. When the bartender offers to “spice up my egg nog” with a shot of vodka I exclaim, “I shall never taint the elixir of the gods with your terrestrial libations! Now avert your eyes, for you are not fit to gaze upon the most holy of seasonal dairy products!”

I just really like egg nog, that’s all I’m saying.


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