Friday, March 27, 2009

Magical Feasts

Fantasy Magazine's blog-for-a-beer this Friday was instead a blog-for-an-amuse-bouche. But the point is that it got people thinking about food and feasts in general, and magical feasts in particular. My thoughts were drawn back to the idea of the faery feast, of which mortals supposedly must not partake for fear of not being able to leave Faeryland. What might the Top Chef of the faery realms come up with that would hold that much of a lure? I mean, sure, almost any food can seem like ambrosia when you're famished, but what would really lure a person beyond any idea of mortal food?

Not many nights past, I was watching a show about various anomalies in the human condition, from a man who can tolerate extreme cold to one who was born without eyes but can paint pictures accurate in every way, from color to perspective. The story that stayed with me the most was of a woman with synesthesia, who not only sees color when she hears sounds, but also tastes the sound as well. Her senses are fused so that they work together, allowing her a sensory range far beyond that of the usual human experience. So when faced with the idea of food, magic, and food magic, I wondered what it might be like if the synesthesia operated in reverse.

What if the taste of some magical amuse-bouche opened and fused human senses so that when you took a bite, you heard the most exquisite music or saw colors you didn't know existed? What if the effect of all your senses burst upon you all at once, and the ripe taste of a strawberry, for example, set off a symphony in your head and dazzled you with visual fireworks? Imagine you're at a goblin market. What would you pay for one bite of a delicacy that would do all those things? If Turkish Delight or faery food were like that, I can well imagine why a person would go back for more and pine away without it.

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