The first great measure of delicious food is this: can you eat so much of it that you become sick? The second measure is equally important: do you still enjoy eating it after you have become sick?
When I was a young kid around the age of 11, I visited my cousins in Portland, Oregon. I had already chosen my favorite food by this point in my life, and it was undoubtedly blackberry cobbler. During my visit I encountered the marionberry, one of the most beautifully tasty fruits in the entire world. Without getting into a bunch of genetic engineering mumbo jumbo, the marionberry seems to be a blackberry on Performance Enhancing Drugs.
The berry, however, grows naturally. It doesn’t need any steroids, it grows in the wild and the berries are HUGE because the climate is perfect for them. My cousins’ house is surrounded by marionberries, and when I first saw them I begged that we could pick them.
After about 1 hour, we had gathered enough berries to keep Takeru Kobayashi busy for days. My grandma took all of the berries and made a grand total of three double sized blackberry cobblers.
I was in Heaven.
The next day, we went up north to the beach. After our first day of lunch, she baked two of those cobblers. I had 4 full servings, each complete with ice cream, and proceeded to lay on the floor for an hour clutching my overly full stomach while my cousins all went and played in the ocean.
I have no regrets about that day, and I still love blackberry cobbler more than any other food in the world. It was that good to me.
I live in Atlanta, and sadly the blackberries here cannot hold a candle to the marionberries of Oregon. But each summer, I still drive the roads with constant vigilance, looking for the white flowers of blackberries in bloom. When they become ripe, I drive with a bucket as my co-pilot, constantly hoping to score some large berries so I can come home and make my favorite dish in the entire world.
Some people think my obsession is a little extreme, but picking berries and eating cobbler is about more than the incredible taste. The entire experience always takes me back to the mindset of youthful wonder I experienced exploring the mountains of Oregon with my cousins.
Food does that. Its smell, taste, and even the feelings you get in your stomach are attached to some of our strongest memories. For this reason I call food the “great uniter,” and as often as I can, I bring people together to enjoy a great time, a great meal, and hopefully even some great memories.
Random Writers would like to thank Evan Forester for being a guest contributor to our site for this week’s topic. Evan loves the Atlanta Braves, Blackberry Cobbler, UGA, Zelda, and has an undying love for Lord of the Rings. Evan has also recently launched a cool site, CookLikeMen, that encourages men to dig a little deeper in their relationship with their kitchens. Please visit Evan at evanforester.com and follow him on Twitter at @evanforester