Story of Stomach Cancer Victim's Last Meal Is a Reminder to Savor Every Bite

pizzaThere are few things in life I enjoy as much as making and eating food. I love the entire process of making things like this pizza I whipped up last week (right). Which is why my heart melted when I read Anna Stoessinger's eloquent column about her final meal before losing her stomach to cancer. 

I can't even imagine.

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Anna, a passionate gastronome, learned she had stomach cancer when she was only 36 years old. Doctors told her she'd have to have her stomach removed, leaving her with only her small intestine. That meant she would only be able to digest tiny portions at a time. In her piece in The New York Times, she writes about her very last real meal, which she ate at one of her favorite seafood restaurants in New York City.

It got me thinking about what my last meal would be if I were in her shoes. I love my grandma's cooking. But if it were the last time I could really relish my food, I'd choose to dine on an array of tapas and a bottle of red wine at this small Spanish bistro near my mother's house. And the meal itself would be nothing without the company of my friends and family.

Being a foodie who can't eat is like living without air. Essentially, your greatest delight in life has been taken away. Food brings people together and, more often than not, tells a story. If I had a nickel for every family recipe my grandmother has passed down to me, complete with the "I remember when we ate this for the first time at your great-great grandmother Theresa's house" spiel, I'd have at least a solid $20. I get my passion for food from her, and I can't fathom being unable to put my knowledge of Italian cooking to good use. Ordeals like Anna's remind us all to appreciate what we eat and savor every bite

If you had to choose, what would be your last meal?

 

Image via Emily Abbate

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