So you know that saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’?

Full disclosure, I have been trying to turn that into a food tour tweet for much longer than I’d like to admit.

(I know there’s at least um.. 7 of you who have just done this and are wondering what’s wrong with me) ((and if you have, feel free to send the suggestions my way!))

I always feel like the sentiment behind that perfectly captures what our tours do, minus any romantic notions. (you see my tweeting dilemma- stick to blogging!)

Well, this came to mind while I was sitting at my desk today eating left over Ethiopian food.  And yes, for the record, it was a super messy, and arguably terrible idea, except

I was having soo much fun.

Might sound lame, but there I am shoving bright, colorful bites of delicious berbere spices, lentils and yemisir wat into my mouth by the scoopful, letting only the ripped pieces of injera determine how messy each bite was… and just grinning to myself, like this exotic lunch was my little secret.

Somewhere mid-mouthful, I caught myself and started wondering why was this was such perfection??

Yes, the food was amazing, but it was also messy, and I was eating alone.

Then I realized, this kaleidoscopic smorgasbord was taking me back to all the great times I had eating with friends. I was literally feeling the same communal feeling of eating with my hubby, and countless others as I enjoyed each bite.   The realization actually just made my grin larger, and I kept chomping away.

A few hours later, I was thinking about the tour I gave this weekend- and thanks to those of you who were on it, you know who you are.  While chatting away, one of my guests asked me what was my favorite type of food…I hmmed and hawwwed and couldn’t pick a favorite (it’s like picking your favorite child, I mean, I can only assume that’s what its like)

But finally, I said well I can tell you my favorite food- Macaroni & Cheese!

I could feel the entire group’s shock.  Here I am taking them to all these amazing spots, trying the best of the best (if I do say so myself) and I tell them my fav is Mac & Cheese?!?!

I mean, seriously, what’s not to love?  It’s Mac AND Cheese!

But thinking back on it, while yes, I stand firm on that choice… much of the complete adoration for noodles covered in golden deliciousness is thinking of all the times my mom made it for me.  I mean, we were straight out of the blue box style (maybe yellow box if I was lucky) and she would always let me stir in the gooey goodness when the time came.

This simple concoction reminded me of the best parts of my childhood, my family and love.

And then it dawned on me-

Food is a Feeling.

That’s why it brings us together, and connects us. I think that’s what’s behind this whole foodie revolution too.

The high end seems to be moving aside for the diverse, the artisanal and the homegrown

because we want to feel connected to our nourishment like we did when our moms cooked that mac (or whatever your mom cooked for you).

We didn’t need to know where it came from then, because it came from love.

These artisans, farmers and chefs do the same thing every day.  And I can say every local restaurant I take tours through is the same- sharing their love for their culture and heritage for all to enjoy.