If you go to Singapore or Amsterdam or Seoul or Buenos Aires or Islamabad or Johannesburg or Tampa or Istanbul or Kyoto, you’ll find that the people differ wildly in the way they dress, in their marriage customs, in the holidays they observe, in their religious rituals, and so on, but they all expect the food to be under lock and key. It’s all owned, and if you want some, you’ll have to buy it.

Food matters because it’s one of the things that forces us to live in this world — this tactile, physical, messy, and beautiful world — no matter how hard we try to escape into our minds and our ideals. Food is a reminder of our humanity, our fragility, our createdness.

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