Cookbooks, Cultural Musings

A Justification for Yet Another Food Blog

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon an article. In the article, a woman reads a fashion magazine; the man reads a cookbook. Both are setting themselves up for disappointment. According to the author, both fashion magazines and cookbooks are illusory. The dress that she buys because she saw it in a magazine will never look as ravishing on her as it did on the model, and the food he cooks will never be quite as tasty as the pictures on the page. In cookbooks, “words…become tastes” but “a space exists between what the rules promise and what the cook gets.” These days food trends can change almost daily. One year the Dutch oven will be the Christmas gift everyone must buy; the next year, everything we make must include fondue. With every new food trend came a new cookbook and with every new cookbook comes fresh disappointment.

So why am I writing all this anyways? My introductory paragraph doesn’t exactly sound like someone who is ready to write a blog about cookbooks does it? Don’t we have enough people voicing their opinions on the internet already? Yes, we probably do. Do we really need another food blog? No, we probably don’t. However, here I am.
I guess I am here for the same reason anyone else starts a blog: to pursue their passions. For me, that is food and languages. And what an age it is to love food!
In the last 10 years the food industry and our habits have undergone extreme changes. Sales for orange juice (too much sugar), cereal (too much sugar, not enough protein and according to some too time consuming????), and even Chef Boyardee (I don’t even want to begin to think about the ingredients in that can….) have fallen. While farmer’s markets, organic food and eating locally has flourished and is still changing the food scene and making the world a much tastier place. But for the last 20-30 years since we weren’t cooking we have lost a lot of the cooking knowledge that is usually passed down from generation to generation.
Now before you jump the gun and tell me “I need to get off my high horse and realize that I will never will cook like your grandmother,” hear me out.
Here is what I propose to you: I will work on translating recipes from the around the world. Cook them and if they are any good, post them here. It is my hope to find each cultures’ “go to cookbook” the Italian “Joy of Cooking”, or the Norwegian “Betty Crocker Cookbook.” I want to discover the cookbook bibles that every housewife had. All I ask of you is that if you read it and let me know what you think. Along the way, I will try to give you insight into the cookbooks and into the food traditions that each of these countries has. And who knows, maybe in the process we can all add a few recipes to our own cookbooks.
So whose ready? Chi vuole partire con me?
This is where I come in.
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