Food, the experience

Mar 23, 2018 | Food and Culture

It is Friday morning as I sit here and write this post. Which means that there is a good chance a lot of you will be going out to get food either tonight or tomorrow. Going out to dinner can be a lot of fun. Maybe your going with friends, or having a romantic dinner with your partner. Either way, enjoy it! It’s important to go out and blow off some steam sometimes.

While your out this weekend I have some homework for you. Don’t worry it’s easy. Honestly, it’s simple and it will dramatically improve the quality of your food at home. In fact, I don’t think there is another skill that is more important for a home cook than the one you will develop by doing this. The best part, it is so simple, no one will even know you’re doing it, and your doing it already anyway.

Experience your FOod

This weekend as you sit in the dining room of your favourite restaurant, listening to the buzz of the crowd, I want you to experience your food. “Wait…what?” Yeah, don’t just eat it, experience it! Experience every bite. How does it look? Not just nice, but look at the components. Look how it’s plated. Once you taste it do your best to pick out individual flavours. See if you can discern the secret ingredient that makes the dish so good. Taste the balance of the dish. The play on spicy, salty, sweet, whatever it is. Focus on the experience of eating.

Focus not only on taste and sight but texture as well. There will more than likely be a combination of textures in every bite. How to they affect how you experience the food? What is added? What is taken away? Is there a textural balance as well as a flavorful one?

Tasting and experiencing your food as I describe above will change how you eat. But more importantly, it will change how you cook. The more often you do this the more skilled you will become at it. This will build your palette and allow you to pull from that to add to your own cooking.

Eating should be an experience. I know how pretentious that sounds, I do. But think about it. We learn through experience right? We always have, and always will. So, by experiencing your food, as opposed to just shoving it in your face, you will actually learn about flavour. You will learn texture. You will learn about plating. You enjoy the meal more because you gain an entirely new appreciation for it.

All I ask is that you try this just once. That’s it. Do this once and I guarantee that it will change how eat and cook forever. If you think I’m crazy and full of shit, there’s only one way to prove me wrong. Try it, I dare you.

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