To risk or not to risk? To provoke or not to provoke? This is the dilemma I had this morning wondering if I really want to express what I think of most of the sites and blogs that talk about food.
It is true that nowadays culinary arts are extremely popular. There is a flood of tv-competitions, stars of the kitchen, programs and sites of recipes, food-bloggers, gurus of healthy diets and appealing formats to sell advertising spaces (please explain why I should give a damn about mini-Spanish or Australian chefs, since I don’t even care for Italian ones?), the media are very focused on this trend which obviously makes money.
I’m pleased for the fans. This is a bit too much for my taste, but I can choose not to watch them, right?
When I need a recipe I am the first to go online and in this kind of situations I appreciate the immediate and useful availability of the network very much. But for the rest of the culinary circus I do not care at all.
However I cannot help thinking about the side dish of conditioning this trend brings with it, especially for women. It subtly plays to force them back into a maternal role of comfort food giver that gets on my nerves.
Have you ever noticed the names of these sites? Most are gooey, playing the emotional card, focusing on a family relationship that brings you back to the good old days when grandma or auntie, rosy cheeks and a happy smile on her face, would get up at 5 am to prepare delicious meals for the whole family, that would reward her later with compliments and leaving the plates with no traces of food left.
Aunt Mary’s little recipes…
Grandma Carol’s good ol’ cooking …
Mom Jane’s heavenly sweets …
Gimme a break!
In addition most of these sites make extensive use of copy-pasting from other sites with plenty of pop-ups and advertising. Sometimes I cannot even find the recipe!
And what about the introductory speech on the main ingredient or the origins of the recipe, often taken verbatim from Wikipedia? I’m not interested! Just give me the recipe! We know what we are talking about, right? More words, more advertising space…
There are people who still give more value to the woman who can cook, who loves to cook, as if food was the only way to show mother love for others and by this I do not mean only for the family.
I do not know why, but when a man knows how to cook, he’s cool. It does not matter that most of the time this is just another way to feed his ego. He is cool.
I never heard a man say “I prepare lunch and dinner for my children every day and I am fed up”.
Nooooo! They invite you to their places, telling you they’re going to cook a risotto, a fondue bourguignonne, but in a week time after you have given them your precious dessert, you can forget about these chefs’ homemade meals.
Unless they are convinced to be the best cook they know. In this case you will have to taste everything they cook and proceed very carefully in giving your opinion about it.
Anyway … sorry, I lost my track insulting all the Gordon Ramsay wannabes, but what I really want to draw your attention to, my friends, is that you do not need to be masterchefs to be smart women.
But for those of you who relate to this: “The kitchen is my kingdom”, I have a suggestion: ask yourself how much you love to cook or how much you need praise and rewards. If cooking for you is a creative process that gives you satisfaction anyway, so be it, but if you feel bad when you do not hear the magic words “mmmmm, delicious, you have to give me the recipe, you’re the queen of the kitchen!”, ask yourself why.
Guess what now? I want to give you some food tips too: do not mess with complicated recipes. To stay healthy and to appreciate the true taste of foods, simplicity is the best way, at least for everyday meals. Vary, buy basic food, no precooked junk food, do not forget the legumes and experiment with new combinations. Create your own diet that makes you feel good, that is comfortable and that is not too expensive.
And if once in a while you binge, enjoy it! The important thing is that this does not happen on a regular basis, because you will be the only one to lose out.