When I was growing up, my mother went through a phase of buying Swanson Frozen TV Dinners for the family. She loved the idea of sliced turkey, mashed potatoes and green peas organized in their own compartments on a lightweight aluminum tray. Taste was a distant third to convenience and novelty.
I didn’t go that route. Once I realized that food could be more than just something to put in my mouth, I wanted good tastes. The Meatball Sandwich I discovered at a take-out counter on New York’s West 43rd Street, just down the block from my first real job, tasted better than any homemade food I had in my youth.