About time for some fun today! A craze over here at the moment is “Dinner in the Dark“, which is supposed to make eating a very sensual experience and focus your attention on the smells and flavours more than anything.
Having a baby obviously means that we’re currently a bit limited as regards going out, so we did our own version at home. F. didn’t enjoy the darkness too much so C. ended up taking him to another room and I sat in the dark all by myself.
I guess the surprise factor of eating in the dark was reduced just a tad by the fact that I’d prepared the food myself, but ultimately the experience was still strange and new. I did focus more on how it felt to move the spoon round the soup and it was fun never quite knowing which bits of the salad had ended up on my fork. (I’ll try with some steak or so next time, for now I kept it at one-handed eating, which was challenging enough). I kept having the urge to eat with my hands so as to know what and how much I was putting in my mouth.
However, I can’t say that I focussed on the taste more than normal. If anything, I found the dark so unusual that I felt quite distracted by it. It’s a weird feeling, sitting with your eyes open but not seeing. Isn’t it odd? I’m an adult, and I was sitting at my own table in my own flat, with my family next door, yet the fact that I couldn’t see made me feel really vulnerable. We do rely on our eyes an awful lot!
Towards the end of the meal, I actually closed my eyes and that made me feel a bit more comfortable. It made me focus more on myself and the food rather than staring into the darkness. That’s when I did start tasting quite intensely. Just like I close my eyes when I truly love a piece of music and don’t want anything to take my attention away from it. With food, however, I do agree with the German saying “Das Auge isst mit”, which essentially means that you also eat with your eyes. The colours and presentation do play a role in food.
So to be honest, I’m sort of glad I tried the low-key, home-made version of this, as I think I wouldn’t have enjoyed the experience that much. Although sitting with other people would probably have made quite a difference. After all, I sat in the dark and in complete silence. The only advantage I can see really is that I was forced to listen to my body more than normal and actually got full on less than I would have eaten had the light been on (maybe also because we are trained to believe that we need to empty our plates before we feel full).
[Insert hilarious black picture of “Dinner in the Dark” here]
Tomorrow’s first depends on the weather a little. If it stays as great as it has been, an adventure outdoors awaits. Otherwise, I’ll have to get creative…