This weekend I listened to an interview on NPR's The Splendid Table with David Leite, a renowned chef and author of the new book, Notes on a Banana. He talked about his childhood in a large, noisy Portuguese family and his first trip to Portugal to find the home his father grew up in--stories with resonance for anyone with roots in a different land who one day find themselves standing on the ground of their forefathers.
Aside from the family history, Leite said one thing that remained on my mind. He discussed the difference between the way he and his partner eat: his partner was an "eater", he said, and he himself was a "diner". The difference, as I understood it, was how they approached their meals. His partner ate fast, like completing a chore while Leite liked to sit down and enjoy the meal and conversation while eating. I think I've got that basically right; to hear the interview, go here.
Larry humors me most of the time, and he does seem to enjoy our meals together. But if I am not here, odds are good that he is eating standing up, or just dumping his food in a bowl and wolfing it down quickly so he can go do something else.
I am glad to understand the difference in our approach to food, and actually it will make me a little more patient with my always-moving husband. When we talked about this, he saw immediately what I was saying and that maybe he needs to slow down a little and take time to enjoy mealtime.
So thank you, Mr. Leite, for explaining something I never understood in all the years I've been married. I doubt I would ever have figured it out on my own.
What about you? Eater, or diner?
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