The Extraordinary Egg Tart

27 Sep

Magic is often portrayed as supernatural or unbelievable occurrences that defy the laws of science and the real world. However, in “The Gourmet Club”, Tanizaki illustrates magic through the characters’ perceptions upon tasting exquisite foods. According to Tanizaki, food is magical when one is able to perceive it through all five senses in a manner so vibrant that one “no longer merely [“tastes”] or [“eats”] fine cuisine, but [is] “consumed” by it” (139).

I myself have recently experienced such a phenomenon during my stay in San Francisco. It was an early morning when my father and I took a stroll around Chinatown. We stopped by a small bakery on the corner of a street, which was popular locally for its apparently superb egg tarts, and ordered a couple to try for ourselves. At first glance, the egg tart did not seem particularly special in anyway, but upon closer examination, I noticed the perfectly golden color of its crust and bright-yellow glow of the egg filling. Soon after making these observations, my nostrils caught the fresh, welcoming aroma emanating from it. Taking my first bite, I felt the crispy flakes of a warm, delicate crust fill my mouth followed by a rush of creamy, wholesome nectar. As I chewed the delectable contents of the egg tart, I heard subtle crunching sounds that gradually dissolved into sounds of a light paste churning within my mouth. When I swallowed everything, I felt a warm stream flowing through my throat and chest like a river on a hot summer day.

That was truly one of my most magical experiences with food in San Francisco. Not only did the egg tart taste good, but it felt good as well. Eating it elevated my mood that day and reminded me of the many surprises one can find in food.

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