One day in early December 2012 I invite Y and two friends to come to my place and eat homemade potato soup. It is the first weekend after I have started working in a Chinese advertising agency in Shenzhen and Y has accompanied me the whole day to buy things for making handicrafts. In the evening, I wonder what else I should cook when Y suggests to help me out and cook some Chinese dishes. We buy a whole stash of vegetables, tofu and some meat and joke around in the tiny kitchen. Suddenly, Y pauses and says with a seemingly confused look: “There are only two people in my life who I usually agree to cook for.” I look at him cutting vegetables and wait for him to go on. He says: “One is my mother, the other one is my girlfriend.” I reply jokingly: “What does that make me – your mother?” He says, still serious: “No, and neither are you my girlfriend.” I know that he’s not in a relationship at the moment and think his being baffled about himself is quite cute.
A bit later we sit at the table and eat a big meal of seven dishes. I’m not very satisfied with the outcome of the potato soup which is a bit overcooked, but my friends and Y say that it’s really delicious. I’m not sure if I should believe Y who stresses how delicious my homemade potato soup is this evening. But as I find out later – overcooked or not – he really does love my potato soup. In the last few weeks more often than not have I heard him say: “I’m craving potato soup.”
The way to a man’s (and a woman’s!) heart really is through his stomach – or, as we would say in German, love goes through the stomach (Liebe geht durch den Magen).
Have you ever fallen in love with someone over food?