Sunday, January 26, 2014

Palate dance!

Largely, in most cultures of the world, food is consumed for taste first and health next, if at all. Most marketing for food happens through the vehicle of taste.

Food items have an inherent taste. If we like that taste that passes.

Some food items taste good after processing. Processing means, it is baked, fried, grilled, steamed - so on. Case in point, peanuts are bland, but roasted peanuts taste divine - subjective statement! Largely, our "processing" accounts only for taste and not for health. So it is no surprise our processing kills most of the nutrients.

Some food items are combined together to give a synthesized taste. Ummm, Sambar podi is an example.

There are permutations and combinations of the above. So cooking as a whole is a rich and elaborate art form. Innovation is definitely possible, but even our historical recipes will run into several books!

I have from my childhood grown up on taste and not on health. My culture and family upbringing was such. Even now, I eat for taste first and then for health. Mostly, I don't go looking for healthy food. I go looking for tasty food. Its up to the surroundings to ensure I get healthy food in the process. I am counting on my Sadhana to take care of my health. I have a bone to pick with the creator in that respect - that all tasty foods or almost all tasty foods are detrimental to health. Contrarily, the items that are best for health are bitter (neem and turmeric?, which I love for a change!). Any food purists (I am looking at you "A"!!) reading this - please don't quote exceptions, which I know exist. I am just making a general statement.

In that respect, I am happy with where I am living. People around me take care of the nutritional balance. Today, I saw a unique item. Carrot salad with coriander leaves (that call this with a different name in the US, I forget). Carrot, while very healthy, has a very soft, neutral taste. Coriander, again while very healthy, has an aromatic, strong, anchoring taste. Whoever the master-chef was, did an insightful mix. The tongue searches for those spots of coriander, while the carrot just goes in effortlessly. They use a similar approach to give veggies to the children here. They mix it with pineapple chunks. Trust me, it works! They also mix carrot salad with ground cashew-burfi! Thank you for taking care of this for me - because I am going to take up food bondage as the last step before enlightenment. Until then, its other things to work on.

After dinner today, I had two diary milk chocolates. Because I have not one sweet tooth, but two sweet teeth! One on the right side and one on the left side. Hope my pancreas will be good for life!

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