Memory, combined with imagination, is a wonderful and formidable thing. This morning, I am craving a perfectly-toasted sesame bagel. I want it crunchy and nutty on the outside, soft and warm on the inside, and topped with a thick slather of cream cheese, top-quality lox, and just a few capers.
I was able to imagine it so clearly and vividly that I really could almost taste it, and that was almost as satisfying as having the real thing.
I suppose it sounds a little odd, but sometimes I just feel grateful for the ability to do this. Sure, I'm thankful for our senses and perception, but I'm also kind of amazed by our capacity for sensory memory. I mean, it's a lot less caloric, expensive, and time-consuming to flip through a cookbook and imagine how something would taste than to actually shop for the ingredients, prepare the meal and eat it. I wonder if those people who have particularly good predictive abilities in this specific area tend to be better cooks. Is there a range of skill on this, or is the ability simply built into all of us at about the same level? I sort of don't think so, since there have been studies on "supertasters" and people who see colors when they hear music.
Regardless of any of the above, I still see a toasted bagel in my future, however. I'm thinking Sunday.
Note to Rene Descartes: I'm perfectly content with the deceiving demon concept as long as said demon gets my order right. :)
EDIT: Speaking of food, I read this New York Times article and now I really want to try chaat. No idea why it hasn't made it to the US before now, though.