There is a difference between eating to survive and eating to live. A man forages for herbs and vegetables and hunts for game and any type of protein he can get his hands on. After gathering and hunting, he starts a fire and slowly roasts the freshly killed meat after rubbing it with the herbs and twining it with the seasonal vegetables. He enjoys the juicy sensation of flavor that fills his mouth as he consumes his dinner under the starry summer night. He has not just made himself food for the purpose of nourishing his physical being; he has also created a meal for the joy of eating. This is eating to live. If there is one thing that will bind people together, something that can create a sense of peace where every human race can live together, and a weapon vital to ending conflicts, it is food. The skill of cooking delicious food is something that shapes a culture, molds the individual, and creates an understanding within conflict.
When a civilization begins to view food as an art rather than just a necessity, this is when the culture begins to thrive. It essentially indicates time can be dedicated to experimenting with food instead of spending that time finding it. Depending on the location, methods of growing, the livestock, and resources available, the society begins to shape itself into a specific style of cuisine. Eating food in a different country can help one understand the everyday life of the people. For example, sushi in Japan is something that can truly only be experienced in Japan. The freshness of the just-sliced raw fish combined with a light brush of soy sauce and eaten with fluffy Japanese rice is unique to the culture. The country is a water-locked island, so their main protein is fish. Their staple crops are soy and rice. When combined, the story can be felt through the taste in the dish.
The expression of food also defines the individual. When a mother puts her soul into making a home-cooked meal for her children because she genuinely wants to give them the best of what she has, this is not food; this is love. One can taste the emotions of the cook within the dish, and this is why so many people are in love with their mother's cooking, no matter how it compares to others. It is the family's cooking that really impacts the individual's culinary experience. To visualize, many Pennsylvania Dutch parents raised their children with meat and potato dishes, and many of these people are less keen to try something spontaneous, such as Indian curry. The parent's cooking becomes the child's pallet.
Food is the reminder that everyone, even enemies, are human at the core. There is nothing more human than a man who can put down his gun to sit down at a cafe and enjoy the simple pleasure of an expresso. A meal shared between can be the event that stops the conflict. When people are in a relaxed atmosphere sharing a meal together, the civilized conversation has a chance to blossom. When people can co-exist peacefully, even if for a moment, one realizes the value of every human life. Everyone finds joy in eating something delicious. Sharing food creates a mutual understanding between one another.
Food is not just the fuel that helps one survive. It is communication, culture and expression. It can mean something different to everyone. When good food is cooked, it is human nature to want to share it with the world. No matter the ingredients, if one has passion to live, the food will be good.
Labels: chef, culture, Food, structured writing