The pleasure of eating used to be taste. The sweet taste of honey brightened Jonathan’s eyes and almost cost him his life.
What was once the holy trinity of flavour – fat, salt and sugar are now bemoaned as the axis of evil.
Today, the pleasure of eating is health. Kale shakes and brown rice balls come direct from the kitchens of concentration camps, yet they are savored and looked upon as delicacies. Beet leaves and parsnips – the diet of those malnourished cousins whose father gambled or drank away the food budget – are served at boutique restaurants to appreciative “foodies”. It as if these people are an inverted version of the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, not longing for the fatten calf but to eat from the troughs of swine, resentful that yet again they have to eat the bread and meat at their father’s table.
At least we can now understand Esau trading his birthright for a meal of lentil stew – the very stuff of life.