Something that tastes good! But, really, "good" is not one of the specific taste sensors that we have to determine if something "tastes good". So, what do we have to work with? Chef Roland has told me that people "eat with their eyes first" and that's why presentation is so important. However, I thought it would be fun just to offer a little science lesson about our 'tasters' and how they work for us. I took the link from Wikipedia and if you don't like the information there, try putting in a search yourself for "how do we taste" or something similar. You'll get a whole host of links to choose from. It's amazing how many 'taste' there are that I just wasn't aware of there being. If you have children, or just want to entertain yourself, you might go through your frig and cupboards and conduct your own little bit of research and see how many items you can catagorize.
I soooooooooo apologize for neglecting our blog for so long. Life just keeps getting in the way of things I want and need to get done. That's my excuse....it's the best I have.
I just came across this clip and, SERIOUSLY, it tells the story of WHY France is so well known for their fine cuisine and their outstanding reputation in Food Culture.
We actually visited one of these schools that has a similar program in a small community and it was incredible how the program is managed and the food presented. It takes school lunches and school cafeteria workers to a whole new level!!
Enjoy! Bon Apetit!
I couldn't resist putting up another blurp regarding food politics. Most everyone knows what a 'player' is, especially in the dating world. Well, there's an old saying about 'odd bedfellows' or one that talks about 'birds of a feather flock together'. The point I'm trying to make is that when a person hears or reads about a particular subject, especially when it's relative to food issues, you should take a minute to look at the bigger story. As it's said, "there's two sides to every coin".
Maybe you've seen an article here or there or heard someone talk about drinking raw milk? I hope that, as subjects like this come up, we make the effort to understand why it's a very important issue and who all has a vested interest in this question and what do they get, depending on the answer of whether or not to make it illegal. Yes, raw milk can become a 'controlled substance' if we allow this to happen through our apathy.
I encourage you to read a little deeper into the issue and decide for yourself.
I've included a link to introduce you to the controversy and to help get you started into your own research to get the truth on the issue of raw milk:
If your interested in food and/or cooking, I'm sure you've come across all the labels that catacorize our foods we consume. There's "natural", "farm fresh", "whole", "healthy", "organic", "good", "nutritious", just to name a few. It gets a little overwhelming trying to keep up with the categories, the prices, the trends and the information. Talk about a convoluted mess!
Truth be told, there really is no clarity to what food is really about in the US. It seriously takes a determined effort to tease out the truth regarding food production and real nutritional benefit of the commodities that are being offered to the US public under the guise of "food". Now, don't everone get in an uproar over what I'm saying. Just do your own research as to what constitutes real nutrition, what you eat and what is involved in the production of that food regarding it's affects on your body and your health. Maybe then, when the average consumer becomes more educated to the fact that there is a problem, we all can have real talks about the food policies that dictate what we eat and what are food markets are doing.
In the meantime, remember two things: 1) I, Elaine Parny, wrote this blurp and 2) do your own research. It's easy, especially with the use of the internet.
As usual, here are a few links to get you thinking. Bon Apetit!
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/315425.In_Defense_of_Food_An_Eater_s_Manifesto (I am not endorsing this book or encouraging you to purchase this product. I have included this link so that you might see that there are people writing books on critical food issues and that food is not just about cookbooks.)
Be patient with me. I'm excited about the following article. As I was looking for information regarding salmon and their natural predators (I know I'm weird), I came across something interesting that really got me to thinking. (Danger! Danger!)
I would like to challenge you to read the article, remembering that it's an article put out by Cornell Lab of Ornithology (which is the study of birds). As you read the article, pay specific attention, looking for the word "nutrients". I don't know if you will agree, but I thought the article was a perfect example of how there is a naturally occuring system in place to provide nutrients to the food supply (reference, "greater fruit production"). I also thought it was amazing to see how the nutrients in the sea, the wild salmon, the natural waterways, the birds and the plantlife all worked together to get the nutrients where they could provide life giving chemistry in a natural setting.
I am no "greenie" but, I do believe that there is a relationship between all aspects of nature that is, in fact, a delicate, determined system that was put in place, in a naturally occuring manner, that was specifically designed to provide sustenance for the inhabitants of the Earth and I, personally (me, Elaine) believe that nothing can replace or out perform this one-of-a-kind system. We, all of us, better wise up - FAST!
We all know what a "picky eater" is and the trials of encouraging our children to eat food that is good for them. We want our youngsters to develop a healthy appetite and stress when they only want junk. Well, now it's probably time to "practice what we preach" and set a good example by becoming educated food consumers, at least on what the current food controversies are in the food market and learn what it takes to make some thoughtful food choices.
We just got through one of the largest egg recalls in our lifetime due to salmonella contamination and, unfortunately, some people got very, very sick and, if I'm not mistaken, someone died. Now, there is a new controversy that is starting to heat up "in the kitchen". We are seeing more and more reports in the media over the supersized, genetically altered salmon that is making it into our food supply. This one is really stirring up some heat.
I decided to offer a few links that would bring the controversy to you as an exercise to: 1)become more knowledgeable about our food supply and the responsibility that each of us has to monitor that supply to the best of our abilities. 2) challenge ourselves to really think about a food issue that is happening right now, in our own markets, try to determine where we each stand on the subject. 3)get ahold of some really good salmon (it's still available for a decent price in the frozen food section, and, it's caught wild) and try your hand at some pan sauteed salmon. If you can afford fresh, great. It's one of my favorites!
What is the condition that is referred to as "Food Insecurity"? After reading over the following article, I recognized myself, standing in the grocery store isle like a "deer in the headlights!". When you start "reading the box", you wonder, "does any of this make sense to me?" What is healthy, good food?? There are alot of voices in my head and it's only since I've begun my own personal quest to answer my own food questions has the fog begun to lift a little.
I have to say "thank you" to my dear husband, Roland, as his persistance and example has helped me to begin to open my eyes to understand the very real importance of my relationship with food and what I eat.
So, how does a person get to a point where they know that the food that they and their family consumes is, in fact, good, healthy food?
I think the two articles following raise some interesting questions and will give our minds "something to munch on".
Over our late lunch today, Roland and I were discussing the food we were eating. We had stopped into a pizza place that was quick and we liked the price. Running errands and "on the clock" we knew we could get in and out and get reenergized to complete our business for the day. It wasn't a deep conversation, just casual remarks.
One of the comments that Roland had made really sparked some thoughts for me in that he acknowledged that he had eaten that particular meal just to "get it and go", so to speak. For him, and myself, we ate just to get refueled. Nutritionally, we didn't do too bad and regarding taste, it was okay. And that's my point: Often, many of us eat with the thinking that the food is okay, satisfactory enough to make us have that satiated feeling (hopefully, not the kind of feeling that you wonder if you hurt yourself) and that it probably covered the basics nutritionally. And, we didn't spend more than a few bucks. That, to me, seems to be the main criteria of general American food consumption: we want fast, convenient, okay and cheap, with some sense of nutrition.
Roland knows good food and fine tastes but, living in the States, he understands why we have the food culture that we do; we eat what is okay, what basically satisfies our cravings and gives us what we want, energy.
As we were talking, I recalled how interesting it was to me that while we were in France this last time, I was more aware of how, during most meals, the French talk about their food. In fact, they talk often about their food just in the context of daily conversations. As it's common for people to talk about the weather here, in France, it's common for people, men and women of all economic levels, to easily get into conversations about food, what they ate , where they ate it and what they thought about their meals. Critiquing food is a serious activity for the French.
With that thought, I went looking around on the web for some information about critiquing food and I found one article that I think is very interesting. For me, this article demonstrates just how serious the French take their gastronomic culture. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a food critic, I would encourage you to do a little web surfing and read over some of the very interesing articles that are posted on the subject.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.