Taste portals


Our minds speak many languages. Because our body’s very design is multi-lingual. Consider the diversity of information we receive through our senses. The smell of a room. The color of a dress. The feel of mahogany. They all inform beyond what our ears discern.

Portal to Jennifer & Fred's garden paradise

Portal to Jennifer & Fred’s garden paradise

Part of the mystery of these languages is how we move the narrative forward from place to place. It’s a turning of a page into a new chapter. The story continues but we have quitted the damp tavern and into light of Spring.

The moment just before this transfer, our eyes make note of the opening. It appears as a door. Or a window. A staircase or elevator. Some means that moves us from one reality to another. For a brief moment we hold both in our consciousness.

We do not need to be taught that portals represent a composite of two worlds. The now and the next. It’s just how we step through life.

Poets of the canvas play with this duality in a visual language. Their pictures are framed with cornices that echo the shape of windows. They present their own universe hanging on a wall as ordinarily as we might peer through a glass pane to a busy street outside. Or to a room next door.

The Art of Painting by Jan Vermeer 1665-1668 (detail)

The Art of Painting by Jan Vermeer 1665-1668 (detail)

Vermeer heightens our attention this fact by hanging a drape to obscure our view. He reminds us that we are voyeurs to the intimacy of an artist’s world. That our feet are planted in one room while our imagination explores another dimension.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972 by David Hockney (detail)

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972 by David Hockney (detail)

David Hockney’s painting of a similar theme submerges a figure into a California pool while a fully dressed man looks on. It’s a self portrait of an artist locked in reflection. Tied into two different worlds: free and formal.

He uses the device of the portal to show us the connection between these two worlds.

Roy teaches these ideas at the Wizard Academy. It’s a place that discovers the science behind every art. More than that, it is a doorway to business success and personal enrichment.

The Language of Taste is not so broadly articulated as the visual or verbal languages. Which is why it is the Holy Grail for this blog. “Food as a means of communication” is our pirate ship.

So we submit for your consideration, a portal through the Language of Taste.

A year and a half ago, Adrienne came to the Academy. We invited her to join 3 other strangers on a team which would compete for Daniel’s favor. You see, it is was a pizza competition that forged community through a gentle one-ups-manship.

Adrienne’s striking invention was a combination of peanut butter and cheddar cheese. Two worlds which by common sense should never meet. Like bullwhips and baby showers.

And yet this masterful combination tipped the world on it’s axis.

It’s the same discovery that Paul Qui employs in his Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Waffle and Goat Milk Cajeta. So Adrienne is crazy. Crazy like a renown chef crazy.

Cheddar cheese ice cream with peanut butter cookie and Guinness syrup

Cheddar cheese ice cream with peanut butter cookie and Guinness syrup

We mocked up this same dessert for Adrienne’s return to the Academy. And gave it a little twist.

The two worlds: one of cheddar; the other of peanut butter. Cheddar, like the sound of its name is sharp and dangerous. To be handled carefully like razors. The stuff of heady meals. A powerhouse of umami and salt. A coalman’s meal after a long day in the mine.

Peanut butter is the stuff of skipping children. It’s the afternoon snack. A sweet repose after the mind dances between subjects at school.

Together, they are two worlds that exist in each of us. The toiled and the twinkled. Both share plenty of personality. One dark. One light. And in this dish we comprehend the duality.

Now for the twist. To unite this odd couple, we add a Third Gravitating Body. Guinness syrup. A can of bitters rendered smaller in volume with sugar and cinnamon. It flutters between the two words both standing with and standing apart. That which converges and that which diverges.

The syrup to play up the fairy tale sweetness. And the porter-style beer to complement the muscle-bound cheese.

Creamy texture of the ice-cream is cheddar’s anima. The brittle bite of the cookie, peanut butter’s animus.

Two complements. Unified by a single inspiration. A place of transition to a new perspective.

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