I think a person should love his or her work
I love food
If you stick me in the olive oil department
I can discourse for hours comparing the oils
And the olive who grows only where winters are temperate.
I’m a little far north for a good olive
but I often summer in Italy
where the oils in the southern provinces are heavy
in the north the oils are milder
olio extra vergine di oliva in Tuscany is a favorite
as well as the darker oils from Umbria
especially around Assisi
Spello in particular.
I know everything about olive oil
which is by the way one of the seven holy species
mentioned in the Hebrew Torah
not the olive but the olive oil
I can discourse about that too
so my experience has prepared me well
for a position at Straubie’s.
Don’t you think I would be a fine addition to your store?
Put me in the tomato sauce aisle
I love tomato sauce and know everything about it.
I mean the perfect red sauce
the superiority of red to white sauce
(white sauce an inherently flawed concept) —
The perfect red sauce
that elevation of the lowly tomato to holy consequence
the interpenetration of spices, herbs, flavors, tomatoes
a sauce the identity of its ingredients but the ingredients not
the identity of the sauce —
as if there is something that makes it sauce that is larger
more consequential than what comprises it.
The perfect red sauce, when it’s made right,
you cannot pick out the individual tastes,
unless it’s a wrong sauce
then you know there’s too much basil
or it’s too heavy with oregano, or bay leaf, too sweet,
or too olive oily
but when the sauce is right
it’s a perfect blend
and it just is, not this or that
it just is
the perfect red sauce.
It is many and it is one
many ingredients one perfect taste
not a combination of independent tastes
but one glorious irrefractable, irreducible taste.
This is, in a word, the mystery of sauce, the perfect red sauce
I can talk about this for hours.
Also, the coffees and teas are a special expertise of mine.
I know everything about coffee and tea
And my taster is keen.
I am always waiting,