For some cooking is a mere time waste, for some a routine, for some a responsibility, for some an art and for a few like me, a therapy. Often I have shared recipes and talked of indulgent cooking and unwinding. Today I want to put forth some of my personal thoughts on Food and Cooking.
I’ve read not much but somewhat about cuisines and drinks from around the world. I’m an egg-itarian and passionate about cooking along with several other things which can be kept for other posts.
Coming to World Foods and Cuisines, the word cuisine has Latin origins and comes from a Latin word coquere, which means “to cook”. Cuisine refers to a style of cooking techniques, traditions and practices that are often closely associated with specific cultures and geographical locations.
The history of food traces back to the age of cavemen and over time, it has evolved along with human civilizations, most of which back then, was subject to availability. Today, cuisines are many.
Each speaks of the geographical and great historical influences its region has had over the years: right from ingredients, spices, cooking techniques and staples. However, I have noticed two peculiar characteristics in cuisines irrespective of the place: Taste and Texture Balance.
1. Balance in Taste: The secret to any meal well cooked is the balance in taste. It is much common but we might have seldom noticed it while cooking or making a meal! A tangy soup might go well with a cheesy pasta or a baked dish. An aerated, slightly lemony and sweet mocktail may go along well with a spicy pizza. A tangy-spicy Dal goes well with plain rice or mildly tempered rice. A spicy chicken/ meat biryani goes well with mild raita or even plain curd. Bland Idli/ Dosai can be served with tangy or spicy or spicy-salty chutneys.
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2. Balance in Texture: Another crucial aspect in food is the texture. Along with a balance in taste, a balance in texture is a must. You end up ordering a cold drink or a beer when you order some bread: with the dry chewy bread, some liquid would help take it down. Texture perhaps has got to do more with the comfort and enjoyment, but it is equally important. For eg. you can have a simple tomato and fresh cream soup but adding bread crumbs or having it with bread-sticks or toast, adds to the experience. Taste wise, Idli can go well with chutney but a tangy sambar will add to the beauty. Rice can be had with a dry potato sabzee but dal or curry will enhance. Baked dish will be gooey in consistency, some crunchy bread or even some red wine can do wonders to the experience. Some rice and plain crunchy stir fry veggies will go great with a gravy. A medium spicy wrap can go well with a shot of vodka.
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These were my personal observations about food. Curious, I read about them and they turned out to be universal phenomena. If you delve deeper into the details of Culinary Arts, there is a world of ingredients, cooking techniques, cookware and bakeware and so on. This is simply something basic I read and felt like sharing.