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Never Drink Water

All that we know about ourselves and the world around us is based on what we learn through our five senses. We are like televisions with only five channels. While most of us are well-educated when it comes to sight and sound, we are never taught how to use our other three channels, smell, taste, and touch. So most of us go through life watching only MTV and ESPN. We miss so much! To get the most out of life we must use all our senses. If we go through life using only two channels we are handicapped.

Once upon a time in a previous life I wrote more than 300 articles about food and drink as a columnist for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and editor of a wine magazine. I had the opportunity to travel the world and use all my senses. I even had a traveling exhibition of my photos debut at Robert Mondavi Winery. Here are some photopaintings and pictories about food and drink I have collected through the years.

Never Drink Water

In Brussels, just off the Grand Place, there is a famous fountain with a little boy, well, squirting into the water. It is called "Mannequin Pis." No translation necessary. In the shops nearby you can buy replicas and postcards of this naughty little cherub. They even sell corkscrews with the helix, well, you know where. But my favorite copy is in the gardens of Laurent-Perrier, the great Champagne producer in the middle of the vineyards of Tours-Sur-Marne, just south of Reims, about 75 miles east of Paris. The inscription reads "Ne Buvez Jamais d'Eau" which, loosely translated, means "Never Drink Water." Click here for enlargements of this print.

Peddling Home

Mario peddles Mexican food from an insulated chest on his tricycle. Some of the best on the island of Cozumel, the Island of Swallows. Better tasting than the stuff in the restaurants that attract the cruise ship crowd. His wife makes it at home starting at 5 a.m. and she cooks until well past noon. Her name is Juanita, but everyone calls her Maizy because of the delicate, maize tortillas she makes fresh daily. The contents of the rolled up tortilla logs fluctuates with market prices. Sometimes they are filled with thin strips of grilled flank steak, a paste of ground smoked ancho peppers, and limp, brown edged, sweet grilled onions. Some have bright lime green guacamole with pungent roasted garlic. Some have shrimp or fish. Jicama. Pork. Tripe. Tangy chipotle in adobo. Chopped tomato. Potent chorizo sausage tinted amber by annatto seed. He makes several trips home every day to re-stock his trike. The shop keepers buy from him, and the fishermen. But not the tourists. Click here for enlargements of the print.

Clos Vougeot and my
most memorable hotdog

I was in Burgundy in central France, it was well past noon, and I was hungry. And thirsty. I had just visited the vineyard village of Vougeot, home of Clos Vougeot, a castle that floats in a sea of vines. The vineyards are divided into many small parcels with many small owners. After visiting the tasting room of one of the larger small owners, and enjoying the gustatory delights of the fruit grown just outside his door, I hit the road in search of a meal. Click here for the rest of the pictory and enlargements of the print.

Amphora in Spain

Clay amphorae held most of the wine and olive oil until glass bottles and corks replaced them. This old urn is still being used to hold refreshment for the workers raking grapes from trucks to old fashioned crushers in Spain. Click here for the rest of the pictory and enlargements of the print.

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