What to Eat When Your Heart’s Been Broken
The best snacks you’ll ever eat in your life are the ones you make to soothe your own broken heart. Understand I don’t bring this up for any particular reason, I’m only writing the truth. It’s hard to eat a full meal when it feels like someone you once regarded with affection has punched you full force in the chest.
But little bites of tasty nourishment are just what the doctor ordered. I mean, you’ve got to keep your strength up for all that crying and staring at the wall and hitting replay on that one New Order song. A broken heart is a hungry heart – in more ways than one, but you get my drift.
The heartbreak snack is extremely personal and non-repeatable. It satisfies in the moment, but may sicken if you ever try to duplicate it in a fit of nostalgia. My first-ever romantic misadventure was soothed by grilled Swiss cheese on sourdough bread, with the bread generously buttered on both sides. It took a surprising amount of dairy to forget about a guy who was too old for me and (probably) gave me mono.
For my longest relationship, I relied on the classic: pints and pints of Ben & Jerry’s. (Again, with the dairy.) Owing to the fact that we kept breaking up and getting back together, my jeans size went up and down drastically throughout my twenties. I’ve heard they make a low fat version of Half Baked these days, but really, I’m over it now.
There doesn’t seem to be strict correlations between the snacks and the fellas who’ve sparked them. It was ripe avocado, pitted, balsamic vinegar drizzled in where the seed used to be for that British guy, then cream scones with strawberry jam for that dude I met in Italy. Honey-mustard pretzels helped me look back and laugh at that singer-songwriter from Queens, then chocolate-covered edamame did the same for that singer-songwriter from Portland. (I’ve stopped going to open-mike night at Sidewalk Café.)
And just because I asked my boss for a mental health day today that I used by biking over to Sahadi’s and getting something to nibble on, don’t think it’s because my heart is broken.
But if it were, there would be no better place to go. They have a bulk food section that is always crowded so you have to take a number. While you’re waiting you can take it all in – barrels of goat cheese-stuffed olives, dried kiwi slices, candied lemon peel, roasted pistachios sold with the shell or without. And when it’s finally your turn the man at the counter doesn’t rush. He eagerly offers you samples of the goods, enthusiastically agrees with every decision you make, and conspiratorially whispers that if you’ve forgotten something you can just go to the head of line and tell him what it is you want. He makes you feel like the prettiest, most desirable girl in all of Brooklyn. Not that I need that or anything.
I chose dark chocolate-covered malt balls. Which I’m eating cut in half and placed on Saltine crackers. Because I love sweet-salty and because I’m, you know, classy like that.
And no, I’m not crying as I type this. It’s just that I’ve got something in both my eyes. And that wall is really interesting. And who doesn’t love New Order?
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