Companion – and context
[ kuhm-pan-yuhn ]
- a person who is frequently in the company of, associates with, or accompanies another: my son and his two companions.
- a person employed to accompany, assist, or live with another in the capacity of a helpful friend.
- a mate or match for something: White wine is the usual companion of fish.
- a handbook or guide: a bird watcher’s companion.
- a member of the lowest rank in an order of knighthood or of a grade in an order.
Context – whom we dine with depends on the context – where we are, who we are with, what the occasion is, our frame of mood, our preceding experience. Context affects our perception of the quality of the food and wine we are consuming. Food or wine that has been rated exceptional by someone else may not impress us when we are forced to eat it with people we dislike or are in the wrong frame of mood.
Business meetings in particular, where tensions are high and where food and wine are secondary to accomplishing some corporate goal can ruin good food and wine. It is difficult to enjoy and objectively evaluate food and wine when we are distracted by other factors and events.
Pleasure, passion and emotion are important to the enjoyment of food. When we are happy and relaxed, food will taste better; the flavours will seem stronger and the elements more distinct. And this depends on who we dine with…
The word Companion comes from the latin “com” and “panis” – meaning “with bread”. So a companion is someone with whom you share bread. Someone with whom you travel, dine and spend time with. A true friend.