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A Thousand Words

Don’t worry, that’s not the length of this post. You don’t have to read that much. Actually if you prefer, you can just stare longingly at these paper-thin slices of speck. And then beg me to tell you where I got it. Or just keep reading.

Today I partook in a 6-hour class entitled “Photography and Visual Literacy.” As “homework,” we were all tasked with bringing in one photograph that was somehow related to food and meant something to us in some way. Sound open-ended enough?

I sat down last night and proceeded to cruise through the 3,000+ images on my iPhone camera roll (I really need to do something about that…). I am quite often accused of being an overly zealous food photo taker. I was once asked, “Do you eat everything that you photograph?” by a friend in Argentina. The answer is no. I would die.

Anyways, I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled to look for just one (one!) photo that spoke a thousand words to me.

And then I found it: my speck/butternut squash/arugula dream of a pizza from La Bicyclette.

Now, I do understand that I am in the land of pizza right now. I have consumed my fair share of spicy salami pies within the last 30 days. But this one has a story.

I had been thinking about this pizza for one year. (Kyle, if you’re out there somewhere in the snow procrastinating studying for exams and are reading this, you know I’m not fibbing!)

In August 2013, I walked by a lovely bistro in downtown Carmel with a friend, took a peek at the menu posted outside the door and spotted this baby. Unfortunately, we had already eaten lunch. But I logged that sh*t in my memory bank, you better believe it.

In September 2014, just a few months before popping on over to Italia, I was back in Carmel with my parents. And guess what? I dragged them in to this place and proceeded to order this pizza.

To me, this image shows how crazy curious I am about food..eating it, documenting it, hypothesizing about it… That’s why I’m here in Italy on my way to becoming a gastronome and finding out what that actually means.

When it came time to talk about my photo during class today, one of my classmates commented that she wished it were more orderly. The funny thing is that a few years ago, I would have said the same thing. But now I know that nobody is going to cut your pizza in neat little slices for you! Real life is like this pizza! Surprising when you realize there is no tomato sauce! And before you know it, it’s all gone and you’re on to something else and all you have left is your own memory of what happened.

Picking an image from a full iPhone library of aerial shots of plates was difficult. I had a lot of what I thought were visually appealing images, but not all of them meant something. This pizza means something.

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