We had some cheerful highlights this week :
-a tourist in Brick Lane almost laying his head down on a loaf of oval-shaped Pain Paysan as it was a pillow, trying to smell it .
-a big man in Roman Road passing by our stall for the first time & starting a brief dialogue which was like:
-Hey ,mate, are you selling jewellery here?
- Sorry... I don't sell jewellery, I sell bread.
-That's it. That's what I am talking about. Those loaves are like jewels in a place like this...in Roman Road.
-Well... I don't know. It's just bread.
-ehehe... that's funny. Selling this in Roman Road... good luck!
-Plus, my personal stroke of genius when I tried to make some breadcrumbs for a chicken milanese using some wholemeal bread. You could have not kept those crumbs attached to the meat,not even using one kilo of glue.(to be fair to myself, I did not have any other kind of bread left).
Reflecting on those events, you can realise that something which is normal, common for you , because it's part of your job & your daily routine, can completely surprise & astonish someone else.
The luck of quotidianly dealing with food implies that what we do for a living even affects our eating habits & lifestyle choices. For istance, I am never forced to buy bread &, as a child, my mother used to knead loaves for all the family. Besides, with exposure to food markets, I have the opportunity to sample different ingredients & cuisines all the time. As a consequence , when I eat , I want to be pleased, I want to be excited, I want to be given something to think about.
A good analysis exercise would be to unplug the cable which ties us to our daily business & look at things, objectively, from the customer point of view. Therefore, you can understand people from a different background like the sturdy man from Bow & appreciate more the good stuff you make & mold with your honest hands.
I was reading an article about a research published by a university in Italy which relates the taste of food for 80% to our smell sense. Eating is a multi-sensorial experience &, for many, bread is associated to the smell of freshly baked loaves coming out of the family oven. It's about fond memories of comfort, hospitality & a cosy childhood.
Nobody can criticise that tourist in Brick Lane.He was a hero trying to go back in time, daydreaming of a natural relationship with food, which seems to be lost in artificial mass produced goods.
( Albeit he tried to do that in the middle of the afternoon, in a busy & noisy street, with temperatures just few degrees above zero... Optimism no more).