Cooking is one of my favorite activities. I have been avidly cooking since my early teenage years and, ten years later, I still find it just as engaging and rewarding. From the perfect honey banana bread to curried cauliflower or asparagus risotto, there is almost nothing I enjoy as much as trying a new recipe with unique ingredients.
Food has always held important meaning for me. My entire family enjoys cooking together, but we are all particular about the types of food we eat and how we like to cook. We have unofficially assigned certain foods to specific events or situations. Cake is reserved exclusively for birthdays, salmon is a summer weeknight dinner, and clam pasta is the star of Christmas Eve. Pie is the one food that is acceptable anywhere at any time.
From my family’s relationship with food, I have learned that it is so much more than just calories and nutrients. It holds important significance for many people. Yes, food is an element of human biology, but it is also a fundamental part of the human experience. It is tied to almost all aspects of our lives.
Food is a Form of Communication.
Our food habits, preferences, and practices can say a lot about our personalities, experiences, and even our cultures. Americans have different food preferences than Italians, whose food practices differ greatly from individuals in Japan.
These preferences are not just cultural, though. They are personal. Each individual has different ideas of what tastes good, looks good, or pairs together well. These differences are what make food a part of how we communicate with others. Cultural associations mix with personal preference to influence how we see ourselves and interact with the rest of the world.
Food is Fun (and Challenging, Disappointing, or Surprising)!
Food has power over our emotions. Most commonly, flavors bring joy. Nothing is quite as satisfying as our favorite meal made by mom, but food can also trigger disgust and revulsion. Envy, spite, hatred, and even fear can all be linked to food in some manner based on our experiences and preferences.
For me, food is sentimental. It brings back memories of family celebrations, elementary school picnics, and childhood tea parties. I am incapable of even looking at strawberry shortcake without thinking of standing on a chair to reach the counter in my grandmother’s kitchen as she taught me her secret biscuit recipe.
Food is Trendy
Like other societal components, food is affected by time and social trends. Different foods or cooking techniques become popular at different times. The recent spike in popularity of oat milk lattes demonstrates how quickly food preferences change locally and globally. These changes tell us a lot about how humans interact with and imitate each other. Trends tell us how quickly information and ideas spread throughout society, affecting individuals and groups alike.
(If you are interested in expanding your palette by trying oat milk as well, this is my favorite.)
Food is an Inspiration
Ultimately, food is a form of expression. In this blog, we will explore how it expands beyond just taste and nutrition and becomes a global source of communication and interaction.
For more information about me and a Taste of PR, visit the about me page.