Does Flavor Nourish?
Does Flavor Nourish?
The five senses, flavor, pleasure and emotion. An ensemble subtly connected and certainly built to fulfill what is inscribed in the most primitive instincts of humanity: the survival and continuity of the species.
The five senses need no introduction.
But flavor … Flavor is not to be confused with mere taste. It is not the sweet, the salty, the sour, the bitter or the umami; this is savor, taste.
What is necessary for food to have flavor and the act of eating not to be just a simple act of devouring that satisfies an appetite? What causes a sequence of sounds not to be mere noise or an inexpressive sequence of notes but to become music?
Life itself can have flavor or be bland. The same facts, even.
This flavor, then, is something of a different nature. It arises from the composition and interaction of the sensations that produce it, but it is beyond them, generating in us feeling and emotion, a pleasure of another order. Different from that generated by simple senses.
And isn’t pleasure the driver of all human choices? After all, who chooses what doesn’t bring pleasure? The comparison among orders of pleasure defines our choices, defines our daily journey.
Far from undeserving of attention, the senses can, then, open the door to this flavor, this quality that colors the facts with their peculiar atmosphere, their particular state of being.
Art, music, literature, philosophy, all realize their true meaning when captured through gaze, smell, hearing, or touch. It is on the senses that all the arts are based and it is through the senses that we perceive the world and all human actions, and it is through them that they speak the loudest.
Art only has meaning when enjoyed, when appreciated. Philosophy only gains its full meaning when converted into action.
Maybe, it was this very mechanism that pulled man out of his primitive state, impelling him to scale that subtle and long ladder that rises from earth to heaven. Perhaps, it is this magical mechanism, this ingenious group of gears, which moves man towards perfection, always in search of something greater and greater, until he reaches the purest, the noblest and the grandest, the true reason of his own existence.
And this flavor is what nourishes us.