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  • Ali Tadlaoui

The Color of Food and Mood

I'm working on a piece of food fiction centered around the suggestion from some nutritionists, and the American Heart Association, that we should eat five colors every day. The story is about an imagined restaurant that embodies this approach. So, my interest was piqued when I came across a just released book from the School of Life called "Thinking and Eating." On the cover is a bright, beautiful lemon.


The free preview of the book shares the authors' musings about the symbolic and sensory powers of the lemon to imbue hope, restore faith, and maybe even kindle anticipation. They also provide two recipes; one for a preserved lemon pasta, the other a lemon curd.


It just so happens that my wife tried out a new recipe over the Memorial Day weekend;

Lemon and Thyme pudding, garnished with blueberries and a mint leaf...it was sweet, unctuous, and sunshine-y; everything that the authors of this book suggest lemon is, or could be.


The other mood foods marked by striking color that feature in the book include lime, avocado, rhubarb (cooked, anyway), eggplant, dark chocolate, and fig (especially cross-sectioned). The symbolism of an egg is clear, and the book likely makes us appreciate it even more, maybe using the visual contrast of yolk and albumen too. By the way, the five color groups defined by the AHA are, red/pink, blue/purple, yellow/orange, white/brown, and green.


My work spirit is renewed. I'm going to finish writing "The Five Colors," and record it as a podcast. Soon.

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