I have recently been reading a novel by William Boyd in which one of the protagonists, a brilliant piano tuner, speaks of a certain sequence of chords and harmonies which, when played by a virtuoso, would, without fail, bring tears to the eyes of a listener. Certain combinations of tastes and textures have a similar effect on me save that I internalise my tears saving the ” I must have something in my eye” for moments such as this piece by Michael Kamen that always does it ….https://youtu.be/GA2FOVlNb6Q…..I’m blubbing at 1 minute 6 secs into the music.
Anchovies, capers and olive oil are tastes that create a gustatory chord that leaves not a dry eye in the house. Yesterday, flicking through images on Instagram, a simple shot of anchovy fillets on buttered bread had the “tears” welling up and before you could say ” I could really do with a plate of that stuff, maybe on buttered toast and with something else to kick the flavour button a little bit more” I was in the kitchen slicing bread and thinking. This is where “toast” came into the equation and where it was soundly rejected, despite the success of the book and the show, in favour of a small black frying pan and a spoonful of olive oil. Bread quickly fried in olive oil is as good as a plate on which to lay anchovy fillets and capers but, for the sake of a good picture, I weakened and used a traditional ceramic one. The addition of slivers of preserved lemons, which I’d just bought for a tagine that I’m about to make, was a good move and, after a couple of mouthfuls, I realised that I’d need my handkerchief as I appeared to have got something in my eye.