I have married friends who love finding new restaurants together, who eat their way around exotic travel destinations together, who shop and cook together with a shared passion that is beautiful and inspiring and...totally not what I have with my husband, a man who certainly likes food, but would never make a 30-minute detour for a transcendent bowl of phở when the place down the street is just fine.
Sound familiar? What do you do when the one you love doesn't love food?
In The Paris Review, Sadie Stein recently mused about her relationship with a man who doesn't share her passion for food. It could be worse; he is at least open to trying new things and he likes her cooking.
And yet. A part of me has always fetishized those relationships in which a couple was joined in their pursuit of all things sybaritic. I fantasized about finding someone who would be the Michael to my Jane Stern, so we could, like them, devote our lives to tracking down blue-ribbon pies and oyster shacks. (I cried when I learned that they were divorcing.) I pored over those parts of Julia Child’s memoirs devoted to her relationship with the supportive gourmet, Paul. I swooned over cookbook editor Judith Jones’s tales in The Tenth Muse of cranking out boudin with her husband, Evan, and traveling the French countryside in search of authentic regional cuisine.
Admit it: at some point, you've pictured yourself walking through some romantic, faraway market sniffing perfectly ripe peaches with your love, happily planning the meal you'll cook together later. Even I've done it, knowing full well my husband's irrational hatred of farmers markets.
Here in reality, I share my love of food with him and he shares his love of '80s sci-fi movies with me. There are small inroads — Chinese soup dumplings, The Thing — but he'll never feel the same excitement I feel for a perfectly ripe peach, especially if it's at a farmers market. But that's okay. In the end, there are more important things in life than food, and he's one of them.
And I'm pretty sure he'd say the same about me and '80s sci-fi movies.
• Read the The Gift of Hunger in The Paris Review
What do you do if the person you love doesn't love food as much as you do? Does it matter that they don't?
(Image: Ana Gram/Shutterstock)