De la cuisine et de l’amour

Traiesc la Bucuresti, un oras unde, mancarea buna tinde sa se refugieze in cartile de literatura, si din fericire, si in casele catorva prieteni atinsi de har. Iar atunci cand bogatia toamnei incepe sa coloreze frunzele, recunosc ca nimic nu e mai atragator decat gandul de a ma regasi intr-o casa unde se gateste bine si langa o biblioteca bine garnisita.

Nu sunt o mare admiratoare a Isabelei Allende si n-am prea reusit sa-mi lipesc de suflet cartile ei, dar acest compendiu de retete de bucate povestite, intitulat “Afrodita”, m-a luat prin surprindere. In incercarea de a face o lista exhaustiva de ingrediente afrodisiace, Allende scrie o o carte plina de farmec si nostalgia copilariei, in care, alaturi de cele 133 de pagini de retete comentate ale mamei sale, Panchita Llona, avem parte de povesti exotice auzite de la prieteni, scene de seductie in bucatarie, pline de umor involuntar, si povesti ale calatoriilor culinare ale autoarei in diverse colturi de lume.

Am sa redau, in engleza, cateva pasaje mustind de umor si franchete:

“Nouvelle Cuisine – I don’t trust these modern restaurants where the waiter – an athlete with pirate rings in his ears and tattoos on his hands – introduces himself by his given name and treats me as if I wanted to sell him a Bible. It’s a sure thing that here I will be served nouvelle cuisine. If I don’t have the option of escaping, I’m faced with an exhaustive menu on which each dish is described in the pedantic language of an aspiring literary critic. Usually, I choose the least expensive thing on the menu, with the hope that it will also be the simplest, but invariably I am served the creation of a psychotic. My humble fish comes disguised as a hat, and when I lift away the carrot fringe, celery feathers, petals of flowers and onion veil, there’s very little trout beneath. It seems a shame to wreck such of work of art, and when finally I decide to sink my fork into it, the whole things falls apart and a radish in the shape of a bee lands in my lap (…) Nouvelle cuisine can be interesting, but when it comes to food – and men as well – I prefer more robust flavors and a simpler appearance, like a honest fish that is not ashamed of its nakedness.”

“The spirit of the wine – In my distant youth, I believed that white wines were served during the day and red wines at night. Later someone tried to rescue me from ignorance by offering me his version: white wines are for women and red for men, a heresy capable of felling an oenologist with a fatal stroke. We are talking about an ancient and elaborate art to which countless volumes have been devoted through the centuries; it would be a blasphemy to try to sum them up in a couple of sentences. It has taken me several decades to learn some basic principles. In expensive restaurants, I smell the cork, chew the first sip with an expression of profound concentration, and then return the bottle, complaining of a certain acidity. That always impresses the waiter and earns me a little respect. The truth is that I have a bed head for alcohol and with the second glass I start taking of my clothes and skipping down the street. The theoretical part of this chapter wasn’t at all difficult; I sought the counsel of experts and consulted a half of dozen books, but the practical part cost me more than one cold. My neighbors think I belong to a euphoric nudist sect.”

Citind-o pe Isabel Allende incepi sa intelegi ca la baza celebritatii pe care vremurile moderne au adus-o maestrilor bucatari, ar putea sta convingerea, impartasita de multe femei, ca nimic nu e mai erotic decat un barbat atunci cand gateste. Iar Isabel Allende povesteste cum fiecare barbat din viata ei i-a ramas in memorie asociat anumitor retete culinare.

Pana la urma savoarea “Afroditei” vine din faptul ca nu stii cum si in care moment, cartea de bucate devine pretext al istorisirii.

PS. Multe multumiri pentru aceasta carte Doamnei Carmen Floroi

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