Do you ever let out your primitive nature and eat with gusto? without ettiquette constrains? I’ll tell you, there is no pretty way to eat some of the most delicious Mexican food that is out there. I’m sure there will be someone who would pull a fork and knife to negotiate a sope or gordita, but really, the best way to enjoy them is to dig in and let your hands get dirty. Literally.
Such was the case, one fateful afternoon when I brought home one left over sope from my favorite Mexican restaurant. In the company of more civilized people, I would have to restrain my gorging habits and eat in a proper manner. And even if I tried to eat with my hands, it’s not proper if I buried my face in the food while allowing juices to drip through my fingers and down into my hands. If the food is good enough, the flavor is appreciated, even within these limitations.
I was looking forward to coming home later in the day and finishing that left over sope from my earlier meal. I wanted to enjoy it in the way they were meant to be eaten, that is, according to what my little voices incessantly whispered in my head. I was going to let my hair down, sort of speak, and bring out the feral child in me as I devoured that sope without any regard whatsoever.
I prepared for that moment searching out the windows and patio door, looking for approaching visitors. When I considered the coast was clear, I deliberately walked over to my table and looked down with great expectation to my victim. Just before I picked it up, I took one last glance in every direction scanning for unwanted eyes and then, voraciously and with great abandonment, I bit into my pray and greedily buried my face in it.
It never fails. Just after the first bite, which I did caveman style and all the juices were spilling out of my hands, my neighbor Debbie steps in through the patio doors. I know who it is right away because I was standing, facing the door which was wide open. She must have just rounded the corner to my place when I looked out the window to her house and she must have been walking along the side wall when I looked out the patio door. Seriously, It never, ever fails.
Thankfully Debbie was a little distracted as she entered and only noticed that I momentarily disappeared when I ran to clean my face.
All things considered, I am grateful that I got that first bite unhindered, just the way I wanted. Never mind that the rest of my sope went to pieces as I threw it back in its plate. Forget that later on, I had to use a spoon and a fork to scoop it out to finish eating it. Oh! And let’s not think about the fact that I didn’t savor that first bite since I had to swallow in a single gulp the pieces that remained in my mouth after I tried to spit it out.
All things considered, I got to feel even if it was for a moment, the abandonment that accompanies what you could call “gusto”, gusto at partaking in a good old eating style that begs to come out every time these Mexican dishes are placed on the table in front of me. For that one time, at least, I got to eat that first bite in just the right way.