by Bill St. John
Having a National Eat What You Want day every May 11 isn’t like “Christmas in July,” or like everyone becoming Irish on March 17 — you know, making a day special or turning you special on it ‘cause you’re alive that day.
I mean, look around; it’s pretty clear that every day is “Eat What You Want Day.”
EWYWD was instituted by a couple, Australians Tom and Ruth Roy (wellcat.com), so that there’s at least one day of the year when “you may actually enjoy yourself,” food-wise, and “ignore all those on-again-off-again warnings” like, I guess, specially designated days that tell you that you can eat whatever you want.
The Roys are self-proclaimed institutors of more than 70 specially designated days such as “Lips Appreciation Day” (May 16), “Blah Blah Blah Day” (April 17) and the “Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day” (February 20) which, sorry to be Debby Downer here, sounds more like a Southern Hemisphere thing, if you ask this northern hemispherer.
Let’s get real here, people.
Until the Roys get to it, let’s just all agree that, in fact, every day is “Eat What You Want Day.” Let’s burnish that upfrontedness with a little honesty and git to gittin’.
If you want to eat the planet’s most delicious condiment (yes, I mean, beating out ketchup or salsa), then you want to eat Extra Virgin Olive Oil, of which Marczyk Fine Foods has a splendid selection. Say, Moulin des Ombres from Provence, as a drizzle on baked or mashed potatoes (sorry, sour cream or butter; it’s not the blue ribbon for you guys here).
Or if you want to eat spring’s great harbinger, freshly cut asparagus, well Marczyk’s can usher in the warm weather with you. Little beats a plateful of steamed asparagus topped with a sprinkling of salt and some drawn butter or — well, some to think of it — Marczyk D.O.P. Estepa Spanish EVOO ($12.99 F&F — save $2) or Bonamini Frantoio EVOO ($21.99 F&F — save $2).
The point about any National Eat What You Want Day — whether it's May 11 or it's every day — is that you get to choose what it is that you eat, for the reasons that you reason, whether it's to shake your fork-holding finger at pesky diet directives, or to nose out something special for your tummy that day. Maybe you eat what you want because it's not exactly that good for you the other 364 days of the year, or you eat what you want because it really, really is a special food.
It's your day; do it.