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To taste

(post, Christina Eng)

A brother offers my mother Indian food left over from his take-out lunch: tandoori chicken, chickpea curry, naan. They are items she seldom eats, prepared in ways with which she is not entirely familiar. 

"Try it," he says. "It's different. You might like it."

"Taste it," my mother says, correcting his Cantonese. "With food, the word is taste." 

It is a small distinction, I realize, between trying something and tasting something. But it is an important one. It is the same subtle distinction perhaps between seeing and knowing, between hearing and listening. "Taste it," she says.