Friday, July 9, 2010

A Guide to Recognizing Your Yummish Saints

I should preface today's lesson by saying that the process of Yummish Canonization is a long and complicated one, mostly because we factor in the time taken to grow the grapes and ferment the cheap Chilean Cabernet the Yummish Council sits around swilling after dinner while tossing around names of potential candidates. Once selected, the candidate is then subject to a thorough canonical investigation, which has been known to take up to a quarter of an hour, followed by a rigorous examination by the Congregation of Yummish Theologians. Only after many minutes of increasingly tipsy debate, ultimately certifying the Yummish virtue of the candidate, can he or she be sanctified a true Yummish Saint.

What makes a Yummish Saint different from other Seekers of the YUM is the influence of their unique personal aesthetic (aka Yum) on a large number of people. This influence must be both widely observed and generally beneficial. (For example, Thomas Jefferson or The Beatles as opposed to Adolf Hitler or ABBA.*) Unlike other faiths, the Yummish will consider both the living as well as the deceased for sainthood, seeing no point in having to wait until after a person's unique Yum has passed to honor it.

As with Yummish Holidays, Seekers of the YUM are encouraged to celebrate their own Yummish saints, in addition to those who've been officially canonized. These are the people who have most strongly influenced your personal Yum, regardless of whether or not they have had a more universal influence. They might be the aunt who taught you to bake snicker-doodles and the grade school friend who first goaded you into trying the triple-loop backward roller-coaster. These are people who, in one way or another, shared with you a little bit of their Yum, which, in turn, found new expression through you, widening your options for Yummy experiences in the world. Recognize the importance of their gifts and celebrate the increase in your capacity for joy that they bring.    

There are many candidates for future official canonization,** each of them very deserving in his or her own right. This list will, without doubt, grow over time and wine. There can only be, however, one first Yummish Saint, which made the selection difficult. Finally, the answer came, as it often does, from the most senior member of the Yummish Council, as he enjoyed his evening cup of coffee.

St. Alfred of Peet's

For those of you who are not familiar with his story, the late Alfred Peet founded the eponymous and highly addictive chain of coffee and tea shops located primarily on the West Coast. These eclectically decorated temples to high quality caffeination were the inspiration for the now ubiquitous Starbucks stores. The influence of St. Alfred's dedication to the YUM, as revealed through “coffee culture,” has been and will continue to be felt worldwide. It is our privilege to recognize St. Alfred, the first Yummish Saint.
He also looks a little like Liam Neeson... sigh...

(For the story of Peets Coffee & Tea, please visit their website.  And, no, we haven't received a dime from Peets, Inc. We're just hopeless addicts.)

Today's Yummish exercise:
Begin your own list of Yummish Saints and celebrate all those who've influenced your Yum.

Next: Gone fishin' 

*Except for Spanish-language ABBA, which is inexplicably awesome. Soy la reina del baile, baby.

**Candidates for Future Canonization:
Alice Waters
John Lennon & Paul McCartney (Joint candidacy - 2 men, 1 Yum)
Buddy Holly
Ben & Jerry (Joint candidacy)
Thomas Jefferson
Jim Henson
Robert Mondavi
Johann Sebastian Bach
Anthony Bourdain (A blatant cry for retweets. Give us some love, people!)


  1. For future candidacy, I would like to nominate Ernest Hamwi who is credited with inventing the first true edible conical shaped cone for serving ice cream in 1904 at the St. Louis Worlds Fair. The idea of a ubiquitously portable ice cream dessert is the epitome of Yum.