Tuesday, April 24, 2012

12 Most Noteworthy Aspects of Cooking

My culinary experience over the last several years has left me with numerous learning’s, insights, opinions, views and realizations. In this blog, I have articulated the 12 most noteworthy aspects about cooking – aspects that are worth writing, worth reading and worth sharing…
And in my view, these will resonate with anyone who has tried their hand at cooking – irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, profession, interest, level of expertise, current latitude and longitude on the earth,…

1. Cooking is a creative process

Cooking is a process.. And like any process there are inputs, execution steps, tools, techniques, catalysts, deviations, exceptions and outputs. But it is a creative process – one which requires knowledge, creativity, skills, technique and craft. And what’s of paramount importance is to really understand the process of cooking. Because if basics of the culinary process are clear, you can cook anything under the sky.

2. Basics of cooking will always stay the same

The basics of cooking will always stay the same – no matter what decade you are in, no matter how much technology advances, no matter who cooks. It can get simpler, easier, automated, and quicker – but the basics cannot really change.

3. The more you cook the better you get

The more you try, the more you fail, the more you experiment, the more you learn, the more you innovate, the more you create, the more you succeed. All only enrich your culinary experiences; and no one can take this away from you.

4. Nothing like fresh ingredients in the final flavor of what you cook

Fresh ingredients like vegetables, fruits, freshly grounded spices, etc. make an ocean of difference in the final flavor of any dish – one which affects the final color, aroma and taste.

5. There are all kinds of cooks, and all cooks have all kind of days

Yes! Like with everything else in life there are all kind of cooks – excellent, great, good, just okay, bad and really bad cooks. And every kind of cook has different kind of days in their culinary journey – fantastic days, good days, not-so-good days and really bad days. It’s the law of averages at work again!

6. The cook’s state of mind and emotions affects the end result

I don’t have scientific data or evidence to prove this, but can vouch for it from my personal experience and the experiences of expert cooks that I know. If you are experiencing a positive thought or emotion, no matter how many errors you make – the end result is usually good. And on similar lines if you are experiencing a negative thought or emotion, no matter how hard you try – the end result is not really good!

7. The hands of the cook make all the difference

The same raw materials, the same ingredients and the same process – and yet the same dish by two different cooks can taste radically different. Again, this is my hypothesis, but there is magic in some hands, and it’s almost impossible to re-create this magic. It is a unique and exclusive endowment on a gifted few.

8. Tools and cooking appliances have their pros and cons

Like with everything else in life, tools and cooking appliances can be a big boon for cooking. They can make the culinary process faster, easier or more efficient. They also come with their own share of banes – like additional cleaning, maintenance, storage space, etc. It’s a personal choice on whether you want to use them or not, and to what extent you want to use them. There’s no right or wrong – it’s what’s most relevant in your individual context.

9. Good cooking is about teasing and pleasing all sense organs

A good dish is one which is a visual feast to the eyes, tickles your nasal passages, can render music in your ears, mind, soul or is accompanied by a specific music or sound, is great to touch and feel and of course, appeases your taste buds. Not every cook can do this, and it’s not possible for every dish. But the one’s that do tease and please all sense organs almost transport you to a different world!

10. Each family has their trademark recipes

Every family has their trademark recipes – those which you acquire the taste and appreciation from childhood, those which have a history and legacy as they were handed down through the generations, those which any outsider will never probably understand in entirety and those which you can only fully enjoy with your very own family. And if you devour such a dish after ages, you will relish it completely!

11. Nothing like Mom’s cooking

There will always be something exquisite about Mom’s cooking – something which you can never really replicate or re-create. It’s always in a different league. And like everything else in life, you realize its value only when you don’t have it…

12. If you cook from your heart, it invariably turns out superb!

Look back at your own culinary experiences or draw in from experiences of friends / family or look at the top chefs across the globe, and you will hear a re-sounding yes to this! As with anything else in life, if you cook from your heart with love, it invariably turns out superb. It is indeed a moment of great pride and satisfaction when you make that just-so-perfect dish.

Something which you will probably cherish forever!
Something which will be cherished also forever!!!
Happy Cooking!!!

Originally published @ http://12most.com/2011/12/30/12-noteworthy-aspects-cooking/

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