"The things most worth wanting are not available everywhere all the time."
I have lived under the perception that "hunger," "desire," "longing" were negatives to be eradicated; deficiencies to be overcome. The object, I assumed, was to reach some state of perpetual satisfaction -- without need, without want, without limitation.
Apparently, I have not been alone. This valiant quest has given us strawberries and asparagus in January and apples in June. But what it has also given us is the illusion of satisfaction. Tomatoes grown in water in January indeed mature and ripen; they just acquire no taste in the process. Sure, strawberries can be picked green one place in the world and shipped to another -- ripening, in a way, along the journey with some chemical manipulation -- but they won't taste like strawberries.
Along that same way, we forget what real things taste like. We have what we wanted, but only in a sense. The thing we really wanted still eludes us; a mutually agreed upon impostor in its place. And we settle. We accept the illusion -- in a way like choosing to live in a Hollywood movie set. It's all facade, but at least it looks handsome and real.
All of which strikes me as being not just a culinary problem, but finally a spiritual one; something somehow near the category of sin. Perhaps it is something related to the dynamic of idolatry in which a crude but accessible reasonable facsimile takes the place of the more elusive and uncontrollable real thing. Perhaps it is the arrogance of wanting the world on our terms -- chafing against the constraints of creaturely status and its concomitant aspiration to "be in charge." Wasn't that, after all, the sin of Adam and Eve, and the laborers at Babel?
There is a fine and precarious line between employing our God-given ingenuity and organizing a coup against heaven -- a narrow thread that separates the imitational aspiration to be "like God" and the imperialistic quest be "be God." And quite possibly it is a line we only recognize in retrospect.
As we now are coming to recognize in our food. That line is now behind us, not ahead; one we no longer anticipate, but have already crossed.
...and worth wanting in the first place.