What happens when love and food collide?

From sharing our grandmothers recipes to competitive cook-offs, food and love have always gone hand-in-hand

Many a memory or a particular moment can invariably be traced back to food.  Food and love have always gone hand-in-hand – right from sharing our grandmothers recipes to competitive cook-offs, cooking is one of those activities that brings people together, and binds us across all ages, shapes, sizes and cultures.  One of the universal ingredients in the culinary world, and any chef would attest to, is that when it comes to cooking, the key ingredient is love.  Even restaurants, hotels and spas have tapped into this, and have created special deals and theme-centric menus.  That’s not all, our big screens, too, have featured food either as its protagonist or served as a catalyst for romance.

Sometimes even the best laid plans tend to veer off course, while others have been pulled off successfully. Here are a couple of instances.

When food played cupid, and sometimes won, and on other occasions lost:
You know, he/she is the real deal when they go out of their way to make you feel special and loved, especially when you’re ill or in a tight spot. Take the case of Dilip and Rose. They had barely begun dating, when she was struck with a nasty viral bout when Dilip stepped up, and took a couple of days off work just to be with her.  That was when she knew he was a keeper. Two years later, they wed.

But, in the case of Tarun, his thoughtful idea of whipping up a quick homemade lunch for his girlfriend, didn’t pan out exactly. His girlfriend even commended him for this tasty treat. It was not until he helped himself to dinner later that evening that he realized how undercooked the spaghetti was, and that she had lied to spare his feelings.

Dating Food Deal Breakers
We all know how stressful first dates can be.  From making the first impression to hoping for something long-term, dates can sometimes turn disastrous. Leela shares her first date woe. “My date said he wasn’t hungry, so I ordered a plate of French fries. The next thing I know is that he’s polished it off, and was drunk. We left, only to be apprehended by the local cop for drunken driving. What’s worse is that he didn’t have enough money on him to pay his fine, and I had to. Suffice to say, there was no second date and yes, my money wasn’t returned.”

Or take the case of Simi, a carnivore who refuses to entertain the thought of dating a vegetarian, simply because she’d be unable to share food; something she considers sacrosanct in the dating world.  

Aphrodisiacs Gone Wild
In a bid to go all-out on Valentine’s Day, Rajeev, who prided himself as a food connoisseur had carefully planned out a special aphrodisiac-themed menu that included oysters, wine, chocolate, and essentially the works.  Things were going along swimmingly, when his date started slurring.  That should have been the first red flag, but he pegged it down to her love for wine, whilst she attributed her slurring to her last eaten meal - breakfast. Not wanting to waste time, he quickly shucked the oysters. No sooner had she had slid a few down her gullet, that a mysterious red dot appeared, and then another. Soon her spotless skin quickly resembled a mosaic floor unbeknownst to her.  It was not until the midst of their candlelit dinner that her left eyelid drooped dangerously that she complained, and he sat up and took stock.  The rest of the night was spent in the emergency room. These days, Rajeev says it with flowers and a bottle of water.

Reel-good food
Even our films celebrate this food culture, and play a dominant role in cinema.  Charming and rustic in the city of love – Paris, Ratatouille effortlessly delivered two everyday yet prominent themes: French food and love.  Similarly, Julie & Julia, showcased Julie’s love for food, and in this wonderful culinary process, rediscovered herself. In Eat, Pray and Love, Julia Roberts, took the audience on a ride with her culinary journey in Italy. Other heart-warming culinary moments captured on the big screen include Mystic Pizza and Chocolat  among others.

As Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

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