I am currently reading Bon Appetit! Travels Through France with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew by Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence.
In one part of the book, he says that what distinguishes the French from other nationalities is their utter love of food; from the way it is grown, harvested, and prepared, to the way it is served and eventually partaken of. The French take a rapturous, sensual delight in food, and this is best witnessed during Sunday lunch, when everyone is leisurely perusing the menu, taking their sweet time and "...mentally tasting the dishes on offer. You can almost hear the flutter of taste buds."
I must have been French in my past life. When I read that passage I silently said, bingo! I always take my time in restaurants, visually imagining each and every dish, composing a picture in my mind, my taste buds emboldened, my senses on full alert, my heart racing as my salivary glands go on overdrive, seeking and longing that first bite, bursting with life and flavor.