Matt had me at vadapav. He was as American as it gets, and
Jewish to top that. I had gatecrashed one of his random parties where he was
making vadapavs for expats and they were all gushing about him. I had the
audacity to point out the difference between using whole coriander seeds and
dhania-jeera powder off the shelf. He was hooked. And then he never stopped
cooking for me. Tsatsiki with dill, rasbhari salad with feta and arugula, his
special sautéed spinach with lemon and garlic, tabouleh with dalia, watermelon
and tomato salad with red wine vinegar or pumpkin quiche. And of course,
sangria. I now know it was never the food. It was what Matt did to them. He
always believed couscous was overrated, as was any produce that didn't give
enough ROI. He had this weird philosophy of assigning values to every food item
and grading them by their ability to satiate with minimal effort. He had to. He
cooked for a whole bunch of random people and screened movies for them on his
terrace. He forgot my birthday. But that's not why I broke up with him. It was
hard to know whether I was in love with him or what he fed me. I knew I
wouldn't meet someone who had such a repertoire and love for cooking. I didn't.

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