A friend found and lent me the Wellbeing Food edition of 2009, edited by the erstwhile John Newton. In his editorial, John writes, as others have similarly in other instances:
‘We’re so distant from instinctively understanding what to eat and when to eat it that , for many, food is a problem to be solved, not a pleasure to be enjoyed.’
This set me wondering, has anyone done historical work on when, why and for whom this disjuncture can be said to have first occurred and tracked the forces through which it became increasingly true for more and more sectors of society? I am probably not phrasing the question well, but for example, did you average feudal lord instinctively know what to eat and when to eat it, or did he depend on what his peasants grew? Did alienation of land lead to alienation of knowledge? Did all those rural workers who moved into the cities as industrialisation proceeded undergo some kind of memory malfunction that they passed on to their progeny?
I’d be interested in your thoughts or directions to where I might turn to get some insight on this.
Cooking with sea water – is it the best way to season food?
‘The secret, says, Joaquín Baeza, who won Spain’s “Chef of the Year” contest in 2014, is that there’s no table salt added at all. Instead, he cooked the rice in a diluted seawater solution. It’s a tradition that has been practised in coastal villages for centuries, and espoused, particularly for seafood, by big-name Spanish chefs such as Ferran Adrià and Quique Dacosta.’
Anyone spotted an Oz restaurant trending on this? I must admit that oysters fresh shucked and slurped with that salt water and slightly metallic tang are vastly preferable to oysters any other way. And the salt water cheese I once made was excellent. Haven’t knowingly eaten anything else cooked in seawater, but I am certainly up for a taste test, and on more than a potato.
TEDxSydney – Rebellious Food Program
‘Food rules can be subtle, strict, considered or unconscious – and we’ve all got them. We acquire food preferences in childhood, add limits as we grapple with our nutrition, make financial decisions about what we can afford to eat, and adjust our approach to food to reflect our political and ethical beliefs.... Well, it means that things might get a little uncomfortable for anyone not accustomed to entomophagy (i.e. the practice of eating bugs). Also included under the umbrella of 'forgotten' or 'rebellious' foods are lesser-known parts of animals, things generally considered to be pests, and party foods that we all loved as kids (but have since eliminated from our diets along with other kinds of sugary carbs).’
I can’t make it well, I couldn’t afford the TEDx fee anyway – but I would love to hear how it goes.
Heshani and family cook Sri Lankan
This lovely family emailed me and asked me if they could use my grandmother’s recipes for some of their home cookery videos. I said it would be fine if they said where the recipes came from and linked to my online version of Ada’s recipe book. I love their videos. :) This is the first from Ada’s cookbook.
The quiet revolution: sustainable food movement flourishes in suburban backyards
In one of those ooogy booogy coincidences on the same day this story was in the Sydney Morning Herald mentioning a couple who have made ‘a stored heat cooker’ ie. a modern version of a hay cooker that I have been fascinated by for some time, using recycled polystyrene, a mate of mine posted on Facebook that he had 8 sheets of polystyrene insulation to offload for free – I was too late to take up the offer L But I did find a site which details how to make one and will be scouring the streets for cast offs during the next Council clean up.
Grocery Store Wars
Don’t know how you will go with opening this link – but it’s worth trying J
New Scientist 18 April 2015 reports:
‘A robot chef can rustle up a crab bisque, seemingly on its own. The system, created by London-based Moley Robotics, tracked a former MasterChef-winner’s hands in 3D as he prepared a dish. Two robotic hands then recreated every move in a specially designed kitchen. The firm hopes to have a commercial version in two years’.
But then, I thought all those contestants on MasterChef were emotobots anyway?
And then by chance Colin Sheringham sent me this which again I hope you can open (I am technically dumbo on how to get a vid url from someone’s FB page if it isn’t clearly youtubed or such).
‘Bikes, phones, clothes all get old, but food leaves enough room for constant reinterpretation. This doesn’t come from scratch, but is nurtured through media transforming cooks into celebrities and food into cult. Food is the new status symbol and it's replacing the old ones and is changing the consumers' mindset.’
Thanks also to Colin for linking me to this site. The ideas won’t be particularly fresh to anyone immersed in foodways, but the images are not predictable nor are the snippets from people interviewed, and the approach to food writing on the net is exciting, breaking away from the blog or essay.
Paul van Reyk
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Ph: 0419 435 418
‘"You must never lose your beautiful sense of outraged injustice. alright? Keep it informed and challenge it, but never lose it."
First Dog on the Moon