From a Teen’s Perspective: The sixth love language
There are five formal love languages, according to whoever comes up with this kind of thing. They are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Well, I would like to add another: food. To me, the culinary arts are a way to give, receive, and share love.
Cooking and baking for others is an act of service, but I think it’s more than just that. It’s an invitation to let someone into your life, to taste the product of your hard work. Food is something we can all enjoy, so making it for someone else says: “I want you to enjoy what I enjoy. I want you to experience the amazing flavors that I love.”
Not a single one of us has the same diet or preferences. Sharing food gives us a window into each other’s worlds.
I might not remember a t-shirt or toy I got for my birthday, but I certainly remember the first time I tried my grandpa’s “famous pasta sauce,” which to this day remains my favorite meal.
Making a recipe takes time and energy. We could all eat frozen pizzas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but all of us (except maybe students during finals week) value taste and variety.
Allowing a loved one to live a life of diverse and delectable dishes is a noble act of love. Eating a meal made by someone else shows how much they care. After all, there’s a reason we say that the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.
Making food with others is not only an exciting experience but a constructive way to get to know each other, as well. In the kitchen, everyone focuses on a common goal that promises a delicious communal reward. There is a unique order and chaos to the creation of a meal that strengthens bonds and develops trust (just don’t drop the pan on anyone’s foot!).
The meal itself is also a way to connect on a deeper level. Heck, we designate entire holidays to food (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving) because sharing scrumptious platters is a great way to spend time with others and appreciate their company.
Eating delicious food is a deeply human desire no matter your background. I’ve made friends with people simply because we gabbed about peculiar food combos we both loved.
Food is a thread connecting us all. Using that thread to bring joy to others is an honorable and significant form of love. So there, that’s my submission to include food in the list of love languages. I hope Cupid (or whoever else handles this) takes me up on it!
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Author Dylan Lanier is a rising senior at Menlo-Atherton High School.
Illustration by Ashley Trail (c) 2023; Ashley graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School and is currently attending Otis College of Art and Design.