Friday, December 2, 2022

Origin of Food

"Cuisine has become too complicated - this is about subject, verb, adjective: duck, turnips, sauce." - Alain Ducasse

Food Item
Random food in Malaysia.

Food - we all eat it but where exactly does it come from?  The ingredients obviously come from the ground and you can certainly eat a single ingredient as an entire meal.  How do the elegant collages of ingredients come about to form the traditional dishes that each and every culture across the world has?

Go ahead, think about it for a minute.  It's a fun thought experiment and I'll wait for you...

Each and every culture has it's own set of traditional meals that somehow came about.  A lot of times there are quite a few of these, then if you start thinking about sauces, spices, etc. well there's a lot to it.  Zoom out though, instead of focusing on a single dish from a single culture, look at every dish from every culture at the exact same time.

What you'll notice is that the food from each culture is remarkably similar.  Each and every society simply took the ingredients that grew in the area, mashed them all together, and ate the result.  Then over time the different generations adjusted the proportions until what is currently seen as the "traditional" dishes evolved.

Every culture is remarkably similar when you look at it that way.  All anybody was trying to do is survive which was then spun into a tasty art form.  When food is bountiful, it simply has to be eaten or it will go bad, that's all there is to it.  If something starts getting bland, find something else that grows in the area to mix it with and suddenly you have a whole new taste.  That is how every single dish evolved, came into being and still goes on today.

We live in an amazingly advanced society where we can talk to each other, across the world, in a split second.  This is an incredible advantage on many fronts and it can contribute greatly to the continued evolution of food.  Traditional dishes are wonderful and they certainly have their place in society but why stop there?  Just because that's the way things have always been done?  Nothing great ever came from that saying.

Instead of sitting back, relaxing and getting comfortable with our food why not continue the great experimentation of meals and seeing just how far the food evolution can actually go?  Like most things in life, it can probably go much much further than any of us currently realize.  We won't know until we get there though.

That is how food as we know it came about and how the traditional dishes of the future will be created.

Get your cooking on!

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