The table comes first, before the meal and even before the kitchen where it’s made. It precedes everything in remaining the one plausible hearth of family life, the raft to ride down the river of our exitence, even in the hardest times. The table also comes first in the sense that its drama — the people who gather at it, the conversation that flows across it, and the pain and romance that happen around it — is more essential to our real lives, and also to the real life of food in the world, than any number of arguments about where the zucchini came from, and how far it had to travel before it got here.
A wonderful book!
Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food, London, Quercus, 2011.