For those of you into food (and you know who you are), you will know of what I am about to speak. We enter each new restaurant, scour each menu, and read each new cookbook in search of it.
“It” being “the one”. The one dish, the one recipe, the one experience which brings such exquisite pleasure that we seek to recapture it as often as possible in many different ways. “The one” is so revered, that we speak of it in hushed tones. We pass it on secretly to those we love. We tell others of it only when we feel they can appreciate and respect the knowledge that we bequeath upon them. Heathens often never gain knowledge that “the one” even exists, so protective are we who carry the burden of it.
Most of us are aware of “the one” as an institution. At one point you may have heard of your great Aunt Helen who gave the recipe for her Apple Brown Betty to her favorite niece…and no one else. Perhaps you have been permitted into the kitchen to watch your father as he creates his batch of 5-alarm chili. Here, “the one” takes on greater signifigance, as you have been taught the recipe through the oral tradition. And if you really cared, if you truly are chosen, then you would have perfect recall on the ingredient list.
If you have been on the recieving end of one of these experiences, then you have been part of “the one”.
Restaurant goers have their own versions of “the one” as well. They have that one place that is so special to them, that they dare not speak it’s name to those who may befoul the place due their culinary ignorance. The sweat with fear that the local restaurant reviewer will find their secret hideaway and tell the whole damn city about the place, forever corrupting it with the stench of “public recognition”. But yet they feel they must visit the place often enough to keep it in business. So they may tell a few people…but just enough to keep the place afloat.
Or there may be a particular dish on the menu that’s so compelling or so perfect that to tell people of it would be akin to having a million people flock to a national park. Yes it may be popular, but in the process it would have lost something, its soul perhaps.
I have several “the one”‘s, of which I will tell you nothing. I know of a place that’s so perfect I visit it regularly with Tara, but you will never hear about it on this site. I have a recipe which I will never publish. I have a dish at a local restaurant that creates a flashing light of bliss everytime I bite into it.
I will never tell you of this dish…
…until I find something better. Then maybe. Only if you are deserving.