Last night, we had dinner in the Bayview at the home of friends, one of whom was on my recent trip to Italy. She and her friend, who was also on the trip, recreated many of the tastes of our trip: Piadina, hand-rolled fresh pasta (including cappelletti, yum), and the wondrous cheeses and spreads we had in Emilia-Romagna.
Fast forward 24 hours, and I’m in Chicago, the evening before the BlogHer Food conference. I enjoyed dinner at a private residence (of the honorary consulate to the Principality of Liechtenstein, I’ll have you know) in the company of fellow bloggers. The hosts served up a massive bouquet of tastes that were entirely gluten- and dairy-free.
The meals, and the crowds, could not have been more different from each other. One, entirely laden with gluten and dairy; the other, not at all. But in both cases, the food was delicious, and enhanced by scintillating company and good wine (which, gratefully, has neither gluten nor dairy in it). Each night I saw familiar faces, and encountered new ones. Both nights were full of laughter and sharing and joy.
The food was delicious in both cases, but even if it weren’t, I wouldn’t have noticed. The best seasoning is the company of friends; the finest food in the world would be devoid of flavor without it.