We are preparing for a Birthday/Christmas Trip to Miami right now. I have actually taken the lead on the itinerary since I used to live in Miami. While working on this trip it has become obvious to me just how much food is tied into our memories. I found myself having to re-plan certain days and drive distances to accommodate some amazing restaurants that I want my wife to experience.
One place is where I spent close to five years, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Miami Design District. It was here that I was hired as a pastry plater and worked my way up to Sous Chef. The importance of this first position was that I got work with Hedy Goldsmith, A pastry and dessert Goddess. She is also the only woman to ever make me cry. To my defense it was one tear…JUST ONE TEAR!!!!
Anyway, she really honed my relationship with sweet foods. You see I have never really been one for sugary treats, but Hedy taught me the difference between gas station garbage and quality sweets. I remember her saying that every sweet should have some element of savory. Her treats hit on every possible sense, but they also worked backwards to destroy some of my fondest memories of sweets. For example, her version of Cracker Jacks is so mind blowing that one day I was driving and craving that. So, I stopped and picked up a box of Cracker Jacks. I took about two bites before I tossed the box out the window in disgust. It made me question my memory of this treat.
You see I believe that our lives are so profoundly intertwined in our relationships with food that one bad meal can ruin a good date. One great meal can marry two people that should never even date much less wed. One amazing treat can sweeten the pain in our lives. We remember the days with friends not just by what we were doing, but by what we were eating.
Another point in my case here is that I remember the day I realized I was an adult. Do not be fooled by this statement I only actually began to grow up recently. However, I was in the Marines and stationed in Pensacola (not bad duty if you can get it). Me and three of my friends decided to drive up to New Orleans for the weekend. After a long night of drinking WAY too much we found ourselves sitting on a balcony at restaurant over-looking the Café Du Monde. I was drinking more alcohol (I was 24 years old so try not to judge me here) and had the epiphany that I was now, in fact, an adult.
It has been 28 years since that day and I have only a fleeting memory of who was there with me, but I remember that chicory coffee and beignets. I remember the smell of the food in the now completely defunct French Quarter Market. Some places should never be annexed by Disney. My point is my memory is more linked to the food and smells than the those around me.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. The Popcorn Lady is in the business of creating memories not catering. We are here to tie your fondest days to your fondest memories. We are here to be where your sweet and savory meet in that one perfect blast of memorable flavor.