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Flinn

The Dude's Kitchen - The Cooking Experience

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It's about damn time that I start a blog about real cooking . Obviously this has very little to do with me being a Dudeist and very much with me being an Italian... by far this is the most complex story I'm gonna tell you, so I need to start somewhere by telling you which is my own interpretation of the mere ideas of "cooking" and "Italian cuisine".

Talking about Italian cuisine is like talking about our history, which is millennia-long, so one can't really reduce it in simple terms, so to say: many many books have been written on the argument, thousands and thousands of different recipe books have been printed, but not one of them is even remotely definitive, this because what actually makes Italian cuisine unique, it's the incredible variety, the creativity behind it. So, in order to better understand what I'll be talking about in this blog, I need to lay down some points about our cuisine:

- first: there's always at the least another version of what you are currently cooking; imagine to mix 3000 years of traditions and influences from all over the world, coupled with the typical widespread variety of Italy and then pour in our creativity, and you basically get infinite possibilities. It's not just about having a different recipe among different cities or villages, but even among different houses on the very same road!
- second: there's a huge difference between traditional Italian cuisine and international Italian cuisine: the former I'll talk about more in details in the next chapters, about the latter we need to make a distinction between two different trends so to say, "pizza" and "gourmet". "Pizza" includes all those typical Italian dishes (pizza, some kinds of pasta like spaghetti or lasagna, or some sweets like the Tiramisu), which have spread worldwide and, depending on the country where you are, have become somewhat typical, since everybody has their own version of them. "Gourmet".. the use of a French word says it all on what could be my opinion on that kind of cuisine, so don't make me become gross eh... let's put it mildly, I simply dislike any form of cuisine which is based mostly if not exclusively on appearance and presentation, rather than on substance and satisfaction.. however, the Italian gourmet cuisine is pretty popular, because our creativity and the generally colorful products we use, matches very well with the idea of "visual food", as they call it.
- third: kind and quality of ingredients make the difference. Mostly it's olive oil, which is by far the best "fat" to cook or to be consumed raw, and in general the Mediterranean cuisine is considered more healthy and somewhat superior due to better quality of ingredients. Due to me living in a country side and having my own vegetable garden, I can ensure you that biologic and natural products do make the difference when it comes to taste, and thus, overall quality of the food.
- fourth: our cuisine is both tradition and innovation, so almost every recipe, unless one is aiming at reproducing something very specific, is sourced from the tradition and each of us add their interpretation, their personal touch. There's plenty of "trial and error" and much approximation in our daily cooking activity, experimenting is the key to improve.. most of the times you are the test subject of your own experiments, so it's a fair method after all
- fifth: cooking is connected to taste, which is subjective of course.. so my tastes might not go together with yours and what I consider delicious might result in something disgusting for someone else, who knows actually?

So, now that you got a general picture of what I'm gonna talk about, I'll tell you a but about my story as a cook... it all started many many years ago, I think I was 11 or 12 the first time I actively cooked something all by myself; before of that I participated in many preparations, such as cutting vegetables, preparing had made pasta, handing over ingredients, stirring the sauce, etc.. partaking in cooking was a social thing back in my youth, especially during big family reunions (such as during Christmas), when the kids spent a lot of time with elderly women who were preparing the dinner for like 200 people even there we only going to be 20 at the table .. so that was a good way to learn. Curiously, the art of cooking isn't much taught to boys but rather to girls, even though most of professional chefs are males .

However, that's how I started to learn to cook.. I have to say that me being a food lover helped me immensely in getting close to learn how to cook, at the least with regards to the traditional cuisine... I do believe that most of the professional chefs are also good eaters, though this is not really valid when it comes to the gourmet cuisine (which is more connected with visuals and service than with actual taste of food, IMO). I remember my first try wasn't a great success, I did really overcook those spaghetti (probably the worst thing you can do to pasta!) and it actually took me a while to learn how to properly check when it is "al dente".. after that, most of my first experiments where with grilled meat (on charcoal) and salads..

That's enough for this first chapter I'd say, next on this series I'll be telling you my cooking secrets, starting with the most butchered Italian food ever, the Pasta.

Comments

  1. Alwyn's Avatar
    Cool first chapter, I'm looking forward to learning those cooking secrets!
  2. Flinn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn
    Cool first chapter, I'm looking forward to learning those cooking secrets!
    soon
  3. Flinn's Avatar