Julia Alvarez writes about how she became a picky eater and how food influenced her life, the way she eats and even perceived foods. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, foods outside the home where not necessarily safe and therefore forbidden. Since infant mortality was high, Julia’s mother worried about her children growing up healthy and hence forcing food on her kids. This carries over to her adulthood and she describes her eating habits during college as well as how her habits changed when she met her current husband and how food is now an important part of her life.
Being a picky eater, my one criterion for food was: is it something might eat? “‘ This is something can’t relate because I love food. love the different textures, how they come together and complement each other. The time spent together with family and friends is something that I still value. This is was totally foreign to Julia. Food didn’t seem important to her, but more of a nuisance until she started sharing the dinner table with her new husband, step children and In laws. She writes: “Eventually realized that If eat slowly and kept my ears open, I could learn a lot.
I also started to taste the food stead of swallowing it. ” To me, food ties family and friends together. Growing up we always had dinner together and that was something I continued with my family. I was kind of sad for Julia and felt she had been missing out on quality family time and it was even confirmed for me when she is questioning herself on belonging. When read her last sentence: “… I’ve put down what had in my hands-my contribution to the feast-and looked around, I’ve found a place set for me at the table”, this made my heart sing a littler for Julia because to me, that is the best feeling ever!