Cooking Is A Way Of Imparting Love

Cooking is a beautiful meditation as it captures the intimacy of the moment, disconnects from pre-occupation, engages all the senses, forges magical relationships and brings people together. When we like someone, we say we should go for dinner. It is self-expression and brings all the emotions, empathy, the goodness that illuminates the inner beauty in us. Food defines our way of life and is an important part of every celebration, feast or tradition in all cultures or religions. A cake marked for a birthday, a meat dish at a wedding feast or sugar skulls and tamales prepared for the day of the dead celebrations, our social happiness is more connected to the traditions and the practices around food than anything else. Every ingredient that goes in the culinary preparations, every recipe, the ritualistic traditions about food, are all connected and defines a culinary culture. Though the style and the structure surrounding the food varies among countries and ethnicities, historically they are deeply influenced by cross-cultural interactions.
The present-day culinary landscape is a mosaic of cultures from around the world. As minds meet, creative ideas flourishes. Innovations are contiguously reshaping our societies and re-inventing the culinary culture. The gastronomist from Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan are bringing their innovations in food with simple ingredients and the right balance of flavors. In the same space, natives of the Andean belt bring their unique Amazonian ingredients and combine traditional Mayan cooking techniques, while the gastronomist of China celebrates the diversity in taste with a time-tested complex mix of flavors that go in the stir-fry woks; kimchi, tofu, soya sauce, and fermented vegetables. The ancient Japanese Zen belief that “we eat with our eyes first” is reflected in their seducing artistry that goes in the sushi and sashimi preparations.
The changing societies and the effects of transmigration on the culinary culture is not a new phenomenon. At the beginning of this century, as streamers poured into American ports and the Ellis Island immigrants settled in their new homes, New Yorkers woke up to the refreshing smell of the freshly baked bagels, Irish Corn Beef or bean soup. Further back in history the gustatory influence of the Mughal dynasty (16th century) traveled far with the caravans all along the silk route to the kitchens in India, China, and Central Asia. Situated in the western tip of North Africa Morocco, its cuisine couscous, Tajine, harissa, has retained a cultural mix of ethnic groups indigenous to Berber, Arab, Africa and Europe. Similarly, the unique flavors and gentle use of spices in Turkish cuisine is due to the intertwined history of Europe in the west and with Asian influences from the east. Similarities are found in the cuisines of Iran, Turkey, central Asia, Greek, and Russia. You will find a blend of European and Arabic spice in the kitchens of Spanish home cooks and chefs due to its historic past. The culinary influence of the Incan empire throughout the Portuguese and Spanish-speaking lands of South America still remain dominant as the latter arrival of Spanish colonialist and Chinese migrant workers brought with them their cooking techniques and flavor preferences that remain significant even today.

Throughout history and across cultures peoples have shown a fascination for food. Even with the present day urban-centric tech generation, food is one of the most popular motifs creating an insta-sensation among social media users. Though, the generation gap in attitudes towards cooking and eating is widening it is more likely that those who are passionate about food will introduce unusual recipes, bring artistic creativity and introduce novel cuisine in their cooking. This ambitious shift is setting the stage for a dramatic revival of the use of indigenous healthy grains and ancient flavors and also bringing a global look to urban gatherings. It is no exaggeration to say that the entire culinary world is experiencing a cultural transformation bringing cross-border experience to the forefront. It is happening in the business world, reshaping our kitchens and contagiously changing the urban gatherings.