Shape shifting with flavor

The other day I was waxing on about a flavor combination that was new to me…jicama, a mildly sweet tuber that is crunchy and wet, potato-meets-an-apple textured, served with a squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkle of paprika.

A friend asked, What does the paprika do for it?

Before responding, my mind replayed the experience of eating it. The snappy feel in my mouth, the percolating dance on my tongue, the refreshing fullness of the waterfall I swallowed. How to describe what was happening?

As I was preparing it, I had sampled sticks along the way…plain cold…plain room temperature…cold and lime…room and lime…cold lime paprika…room lime paprika… precisely because I wanted a sense of that very thing for myself. But how to express what I could sense…

It completes the triangle, was what I said to end the pause of my considerations. One side is the crunch and mildly sweet. One side is the tart wet tang. The two together are perfectly fine but pointing in different directions…it is an enjoyable combination but somehow left open. The smoke and spice of the paprika adds a third side. Each flavor continues on in its own direction, but they support one another and create a more whole, enirely other, flavor together…something deeper, richer…

In thinking about this idea of a triangle after the phonecall, other instances of this came to me. Writing, no surprise…Rhythm/flow, contour/sound, and grouping/organization. Living…community (whether that be friends, actual living community, family), ministry, time alone. The shape of people dancing…arms out, arms at waist, feet. Playing a bowed musical instrument…deep rooted feet, hand holding instrument, hand directing the bow… Considering prayer, I thought about spaciousness, fullness, and aperture…

When I made my way to relationship with God as I was soaking black beans and splashing rice wine vinegar for my next culinary adventure, I chose humanity, divinity, and covenant…

And then realized pleasingly that it is is not so hard to turn a triangle into a heart…




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s