Being Too Aware of Food


The topic of food awareness can be taken in so many different directions. I could discuss how when I drink wine, I try to guess which fruits are in the wine to see if I can correctly identify they flavors and be aware of the ingredients or I could discuss about when cooking I try to be aware of what ingredients are still needed.

I could even write about the little knowledge most Americans have of the nutritional values for the food products on fast food restaurants’ menus. But for this blog post, I am going to go down a completely different road regarding food awareness and discuss something that I bet no one else in the class will have been through. To be very straight forward, two of my best friends (who happen to be sisters) had suffered from extremely severe eating disorders, both anorexia and bulimia nervosa, due to the amount of knowledge they had about food and what was going into their bodies when they eat.

It became so encompassing that both girls were removed from regular schooling and entered into one of the best clinics in the country. I am not going to discuss any of the details of what my friends went through what so ever, but I do want to share and bring to your attention the negative aspects of food awareness.

After visiting the amazing clinic to support the girls through their times of struggle, I became aware that there were no numerical values or numbers around and they most certainly were not discussed. The patients were not allowed to measure the amount of food that they were consuming or see the number of pounds that he or she weighed by stepping on a scale.  The diseases are often associated with obsession with numbers, so the removal from those amounts is crucial. These things were forbidden in order to help the patients cop and learn how to develop a healthy relationship with food.  Because of this long journey that I had to support two of my beautiful best friends through, I constantly wear a lavender ribbon on my jacket to signify eating disorder awareness and promote healthy relationships with food through understanding.


Over the past week and a half, I have had a plethora of experiences with foods ranging from great meals to wait staffs that moved as slow as manure. A birthday dinner at an upscale restaurant and a low key dinner cooked by my boyfriend varied greatly, but gave me a wide variety of food opportunities. A lunch over spring break in Miami started off as a quick meal and a few minutes out of the sun to a two hour and thirty minute ordeal due to the slow service. But a birthday dinner at home with my family more than made up for it when I was able to order the only tortellini that I will ever purchase from a restaurant.

Though I am used to extremely long meals with my family and large groups of people, at lunch on the boardwalk in Miami, I was became extremely impatient. I understand that a group of ten people might be somewhat frustrating and overwhelming for a wait staff, but due to the high amount of traffic in the area, being right on the beach and all, you’d expect this restaurant to have excellent service. After ordering nothing more than appetizers and a few of what most would consider mediocre cheese burgers, the manager took twenty percent off of my bill because of the two and a half hour wait to receive the bill, even though we had brought it to the waitresses attention multiple times. I also understand that it is possible that a restaurant may not regularly have Guinness, but on St. Patrick’s Day, Irish car bombs are fairly common.  I was not the one who ordered these drinks, nor did I plan on having one, but because the bartender had to run to a grocery store to get the beer, the wait was somehow justified. This lead me to believe that maybe, because I was in Florida, that the time is so severely slowed down and it is not uncommon for people to take their time, though I will ever be sure or understand why such poor service is acceptable.

My father picked me up from O’Hare Airport in Chicago when I landed and we went straight to dinner to meet my family to celebrate my birthday which was the day before. We went to a very nice Italian restaurant that is owned by my cousins, who are related somewhere down the line. There is a very high population of Italian immigrants in my hometown area, so we DO NOT have the “Olive Garden” or other restaurants like this that say they are Italian, but have their pasta made by machines and come out of freezers when time to thaw. This is one of the only restaurants where I will ever order tortellini soup!  The broth is a flavorful chicken broth, with tightly folded tortellini by the little old women in the kitchen. I order a large bowl as my antipasto, before my salad, and before my Veal Del Rio is served.  My father orders a Chilean sea bass that nearly evaporated in my mouth and I was left with a buttery sauce after taste. Before the sea bass and my mother’s entrée  came out, they both ordered a shrimp scampi appetizer and a salad, and rigatoni in a Bolognese sauce was served alongside their meal.  My younger brother ordered another family favorite which was hardly comparable to my nonna’s, nevertheless Del Rio is the only place where my family would actually order it, was tortellacci.  Our family typically stuffs our tortellacci with cheese and spinach, and then we finish it off with a heavy crème sauce that is full of flavor. Del Rio is a local restaurant that I recommend to anyone who is around the Chicago area and does not have a tight budget, as the food is very expensive, but given the quality and taste of the real, traditional Italian flavor, is worth it!


1 Response to “Being Too Aware of Food”

  1. 1 lucia March 26, 2011 at 5:06 am

    comments about “your” restaurant:
    the foods do look pretty authentic and good. if they have a website you should link it to your blog and next time you go you should tell them because they might give you a discount 🙂 after all it is publicity for them.
    so… you are a pisces too, aren’t you? 😉

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