I only know one perfect thing. Of all the things that I know, only one of them is perfect. And it’s not a Roux souffle or anything Blumenthal. Or even the view from Likoma island across the lake to Mozambique at sun set.
It simply cannot be improved upon and when I hear it, tears flow down my cheeks and I just, simply. Stop.
I am no music expert. I certainly don’t know why. I just like the sound of it. It makes me feel nervous and my heart beats faster. Like before a date. I have it now and I can barely type.
On paper it looks crap- Mozart’s Serenade no.10 in B Flat Major. But thats not evocative is it? Nothing there to stir your soul or arouse the passions in your loins. The ‘Amadeus’ script writers had it about right- Salieri, in bewilderment, in awe and in pain said of it thus:
On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse – bassoons and basset horns – like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly – high above it – an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God.’
And that’s it. That oboe note. Filled with longing, such unfulfillable longing. Think about those words, think about how unfulfillable longing would feel. And listen to the first 45 seconds of Serenade no 10 in B Flat Major. And know that it is perfect.
**Too deep and poncey for a ‘food’ blog**…… Eurgh and not funny either. Thank God…. reverie broken by the awful randomness of putting 4 days worth of music on shuffle. Thank you Jay-Z and that dirt on your shoulder.
Perfection in food is probably impossible isn’t it? Especially, as I’ve said many times before if Chef gets his grubby mits on it. Because eating is so subjective. What you put in your mouth is part of it. But the company, the venue, your mood- everything conspires to create one unique moment, one experience in time that no one else by definition will ever experience . One mans perfection is another mans poison.
An oyster is near perfection. The first Jersey Royal of the season. Tom Yam soup with a hangover. A piece of Jamon fat, melting on your tongue. All of these things can be close to perfection. Can a three star meal be perfect? I really don’t know. Is Thomas Keller the creative equal of Mozart? Is Heston? Ferran? Can food bend your mind like music can? I don’t know. And I’m a food person. Not a music person. But nothing that I have ever eaten has ever made me feel like I feel when I hear that one long oboe note and its unfulfillable longing.