The Grape, The Cheese And The Chocolate

Nine years ago, they meet, randomly…

The grapes were strewn on the mirrored plate and a bit away from them, the cheeses sat proudly. And that one grape was sitting in a corner purposely ignoring the small block of cream cheese that too was sitting away from the rest, alone. A grape and a cream cheese weren’t the right combination in the food world then, or that’s what they thought. Both were in their own world, small, innocent, unaware of the future and both were trying to catch each other’s attention just for the sake of it. But neither was winning the battle and the others around were completely unaware of the situation. Finally, the cheese was picked up from the platter and the grape was swiped away.

She gives him a last look of a ‘hi’, while he completely ignores and continues playing the brick game. With a huff, she turns, walks out of the old house as the door slams shut…

That was nine years ago. Now, this is today.

The grape had developed into a sweet and a ripe fruit. The gastronomic world was rapidly changing and had turned completely modern. Long gone were the traditional pairings of taste and technology and trade had led to a variety of taste exchange and ideas. Pairings that weren’t considered possible then or had never been thought of or even forgotten were being undertaken as an adventure to the palate or by some technological method that made every kitchen look like a laboratory. The grape was becoming versatile and diverse, rapidly moving in the world of food and drinks. It was making efforts to stand out to be the most unique and widely used fruit, a symbol for some, refreshment for some. The cream cheese too was progressing in its own world. But, the grape and the cheese were unaware of each other, long forgotten each other. But the advancing food technology wasn’t going to let the situation be the same.

She sends a ‘hi’ through one of the many public social sites and he responds at once, surprised that they were remembering each other despite so many years.

Little did the grape or the cheese know that in the modern world of food, possibilities are weird. The cyclone of tastes picks up like a craze sending a flurry of different tasting opportunities of the newly introduced flavors. No chances are left to make one or the other dish that contains both these ingredients. Wherever you go, the menu contains the grape and the cheese whether it is a main ingredient or just a hint of flavor, every opportunity is grabbed to make them go together.

She texts him and he replies, months and months over without meeting even once till then. The texts turn to long e-mails and e-mails into calls.

The grape had completed a cycle and was ready to be turned to wine. The cream cheese too had developed in its own way and was ready to be flavored. The world, rather the technological world had given every opportunity for the flavors to be combined. But in our world of food it is a belief that until the flavors themselves don’t get mixed automatically the dish isn’t as flavorful and unique as it is expected to be. And no technology or the modern concepts of molecular cooking and being techno-savvy overcomes this. But the grape and the cheese did decide to blend.

He does try to avoid, after all it is nine years! But finally they meet, and are surprised to find no gap between them, as if they knew each other since eternity. A memorable time is spent.

But the grape was going to be turned to wine, a process that’s not possible in the vineyard. The cheese too was planning to be enriched in some unique flavor. But modern food trends have loads of surprises for the gourmet. The new culinarians do not hesitate in introducing new ingredients over a period of time. The gourmet’s palate doesn’t seem to be satisfied with just a cheese and grape. They add the chocolate. But this flavor pairing doesn’t seem to evoke as much excitement as the first. But that’s the magic of trend. Keeping aside all that, the grape packs up for the wine making dream that it had seen for so long. The whole grape was going to be changed, its shape, its texture everything, although its main flavor would always remain. This was a dream the grape had nurtured. A dream most grapes do. But something was holding it behind. And it knew not what it was. Not all grapes turn to wine do they? No, they don’t, but the problem was the grape itself didn’t know what was holding it back.

She comes to meet him on the last day and does what she shouldn’t have perhaps – she looks deep into his eyes, a look he that removes all senses from his mind. It is a look as if she is capturing the whole moment in her mind. And then they both depart, with a smile; with a hope and with a feeling that says something could have worked…they simply depart.

Over a distance, the grape travels to the winery; a new place and a new atmosphere. The process begins the grapes are crushed, pouring the sweet nectar out into posh wooden barrels.

He is happy and yet misses her. He calls her every now and then to share all the happiness.

Over another distance the cheese continues developing. Rich flavors are incorporated making it a royal cheese. It dreams to have the power of flavor enough to change the taste wherever it goes.

She is happy too and yet misses him. She calls him every now and then to give details of her life.

And time moves on….unsure…hopeful…

And the food world changes continuously and even more rapidly than ever. No combinations or flavors remain the same. Contemporary gourmets are in search of more and more new tastes and textures and craze just comes in waves like those of the sea. The cheese and the grape get long lost in the menus, yet not forgotten though. A new wave comes crashing up of chocolates and wines; a new pairing, a new age and a new cycle. But still underlying is the flavor of the grape and the cheese, living somewhere on the palate. Ready to rise up, hoping to rise up and create another unforgettable dining journey. A craze of wine and chocolate rises up creating another tasting cyclone in the food world, a pleasant new surprise on the gourmet’s palate. And so forms a link of the grape that’s now into a wine, yet not having changed completely, the cheese that is still evolving, developing and the chocolate that’s ever fresh and brings a smile on everyone’s face. A unique pairing, a different combination. If the grape is paired with the cheese it cannot taste well with the chocolate. If wine goes well with chocolate it ruins the taste of the cheese. And yet an effort is made to blend them, mix them with hopes, love and passion. But any foodie would know that they are different, would always remain different and nothing can change that fact.

And as the sun rises and sets in the different worlds, distances apart, the three wait….a long wait of hopes…of smiles…of sorrows and laughter…of support and encouragement.

They wait…..simply await…



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