If you could eat only one thing...
There’s a game I like to play to get to know people. An ice breaker of sorts using my favorite subject, food. I ask them one question: if you could eat only ONE thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Invariably the person is stumped. They look at me and say things like, just one thing? Forever? Can it be, like pizza, they’ll ask. Sure I’ll tell them, you can choose pizza. They never choose pizza. After they’ve answered they’ll ask me what my answer is. I usually say things like blueberries or avocado or sushi.
Earlier this week I joined a friend for lunch at ABC Kitchen. I’ve been before but somehow this trip was off the charts good. We ordered three dishes and shared everything. The first plate was a kabocha squash appetizer. I’m a sucker for anything that uses kabocha squash, a large oval shaped squash with green skin and sweet, firm orange flesh. One of the things I love about kabocha is that you don’t have to peel the skin to roast it, bake it, or put it in soup; you just have to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and cut it up.
The appetizer was set down in front of us with little fanfare. It was a thick slice of rustic country bread on top of which was spread a layer of ricotta cheese. On top of the cheese were a mashed spread of kabocha, dotted here and there with carmelization, and topped with slivers of basil. The menu noted that there was apple cider vinegar in the dish but what I don’t know is if they baked the squash doused in it or added it later.
The dish tasted like candy, like the best sweet and savory crunchy and soft candy I had ever eaten. My girlfriend looked at me and said (with no urging on my part), if she could eat one thing for the rest of her life, that would be it. I looked at her and widened my eyes in disbelief. She played my game too!
Our next appetizer was pretzel-dusted calamari. It was light and crispy and didn’t feel oppressively like fried food. It came with two dipping sauces, a marinara and a mustard. I preferred the mustard by far. It was a good dish and slightly inventive but I’m always reminded AFTER I order calamari that it’s usually fried. Just once I'd like to be surprised with raw or grilled. Then we shared a roast carrot salad with avocado, sprouts and greens. The carrots, roasted till they were soft and could be cut with a fork, were spicy and hinted at cumin and other Eastern spices. It was a perfect dish to share since it might be easy to get a tad tired of the cumin if you had the salad to yourself.
With just a little room left in our tummies we decided to split an order of sorbet, meyer lemon buttermilk sorbet. The bite of the lemon and the rich sweetness of the buttermilk were perfection. Not too sweet, the sorbet slipped off the spoon like it floated in the air. It was another dish where we looked at each other and glazed over. Maybe this could be the ONLY thing?
Anyways, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Leave me a comment please and I will post the best replies next week.