Indelible chicken: At Between Meals, Michael Bauer digs way down in the memory bag to pull out a trio of indelible meals: two at Fredy Girardet in Switzerland, one at the French Laundry, under a flurry of white truffles, with food writer Marion Cunningham all dappled in expensive light. Bauer's benchmark for memorable wasn't what was on the plates, but something about the experience, the sense of connection. Bauer:
As a critic I can evaluate the food, but when I talk about memorable meals, it's a confluence of the setting and a particular set of circumstances. The food, of course, is important because it's the element that brings it all together and seems to solidify friendships and cement memories.He invites readers to proffer their own.
Mine? I recall a plywood chicken shack in Dangriga, Belize, where the proprietor slaughtered birds outside, on a table outside under a canopy, where cats circled. Inside, there were three or four oilcloth tables and a little kitchen, where the chicken butcher's wife fried up the kill in lard, along with Belizean baking-powder arepas. Was the chicken delicious? It was, although the feeling of discovery was even more so (the place was deserted, a scrabble of shacks in a quiet part of a destitute town). My boyfriend and I wondered if we were crazy. No truffles or marzipan, or halos of light crowning famous friends. Just him and me, and the feeling we were eating where the world we knew had just ended.