Yesterday I made a turkey tortilla soup for lunch. It was to be the vehicle for a delicious, surprising chili accessory that I ate recently at my friend Brandi’s home: a dollop of sour cream, into which was mixed lime zest and juice. It was just the thing that turned her good chili into one of those meals that makes you feel loved and delighted.
The limed sour cream was just as delicious at my house. I did wonder out loud to my fellow diners, however, if the combination constituted what my brother Brian recently called a hidden badness: a food that contains ingredients that you can’t see or identify. (An example of hidden badness, apparently, is fruited yogurt. And American chop suey.)
Lydia, at the lunch table, said, “Yeah, that’s a hidden badness.” She avoided the sour cream with lime.
Eli, the food adventurer, disagreed. “I would call this, and other things like this, the hidden goodness.” He dropped more sour cream into his soup and ate the whole bowl.
And so did Jimmy. And so did I.
Grace, at a friend’s house, escaped the moment.