As I draft the introduction to my novella cookbook, “The Way to a Man’s Heart: Amorous Cooking” and begin to define the terminology that is unique to the concept of amorous cooking, I have come to realize that the concept is based in epicurean philosophy. Let me begin the explaination of this concept with the origins of epicurean. Epicureanism is a philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus, his school was called “The Garden” and was founded around 307 BC. Epicurus believed that pleasure is the greatest good. According to his teachings, the way to attain pleasure is to live modestly and to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of one’s desires. This will lead one to attain a state of tranquility (ataraxia) and freedom from fear, as well as absence of bodily pain (aponia).
It advocates an ethic of individual pleasure as the chief good in life. Hence, Epicurus promoted living in such a way as to derive the greatest amount of pleasure possible during one’s lifetime. The modern day dictionary defines the term ‘epicurean’ to mean fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures; having luxurious tastes or habits, especially in eating and dining. Indeed amorous cooking is an indulgence in sensual pleasure. To realize this level of pleasure however, one must live sensuously. In everyday life it becomes critical then to allow your senses full engagement in the minutia of day’s activities. I deliberately slowed down my process today so that I could allow sensation to reign. For the first time ever I took full pleasure in brushing my teeth. This may sound asinine but when you allow yourself to truly taste, feel, hear, see, and smell the simple things in life, one is absolutely elevated. The refreshing scent of peppermint gave rise to my alertness, the initial pungent, yet cool taste of the minty toothpaste awakened my taste buds, then the vibration of the Sonicare electric toothbrush against my gums further intensified the tooth brushing experience. This went on for two (2) minutes. Meanwhile, the running water in the back ground reached ice-cold temperatures and gave way to an invigorating rinse of the mouth. I followed this with an irresistible, drink of the crisp water which perfectly prepared my mouth for the final deep cleaning Listerine wash. The revitalizing 30 second swish restored the freshness I needed to spread pleasure to others all throughout the day. In this 2 minute and 30 second exercise, I experienced the greatest good, which is pleasure. It boosted my appreciation. I carried on in this manner all day. It’s this same level of epicurean engagement that transforms mundane cooking into amorous cooking.