About Me

!nversed Poignancy!

...I am an eclectic amalgamation of many seemingly paradoxical things. This can be exemplified in both my seemingly endless persistance on many topics and arguments, as well as my careful cautiousness on other topics and arguments. This is largely due to how astute I am of the topic: more knowledge, more persistant; less knowledge, obviously more cautious. I also have times of obsessive compulsions regarding certain things (mostly just my thoughts, however)...

Life and Death

!nversed Poignancy!

Life

An assembly

Possibly impossible

Perfectly interchangeable..

Death

That lives most upright

Beyond the unspoken

Neither a squiggle nor a quibble..

She and Me

!nversed Poignancy!

She

A daffodil

Tyrannizer of me

Breaking the colors of dusk!..

Me

The rising sun

Infringed with violations

The impurity in the salt..

Love and Poetry!

!nversed Poignancy!

Love

A puerile desire

Buried in the heart

Never leaves..

Poetry

Sentimentally melodramatic

Cursively recursive

My thoughts idiotic!

The "Foodalgia" Principle..

Scribbled by Bharath C On July 18, 2009

For the past few hours today(yeah, I happened to have a nightmarish leap from the bed at 3am!!) , I’ve been trying to figure out what makes food taste incredible as opposed to merely good or great. And now, I think I’ve found the answer. (Although, I am not sure what really prompted the thought. But, since I am wheezing and I am sleepy, I felt that the only way that I can make myself sit upright is to write some dumb thoughts o'er here at my blog page) As always, one step for a dumbness there would implicitly be one giant leap for idiocy!- So, what followed the dumbness was this little theorem of mine..:)


It’s often said that great cooking is a combination of great ingredients and technique. Unquestionably, the quality of produce and skill of the cook* both have a tremendous influence on the final dish. But incredible food often contains one additional element – nostalgia. Like flipping through an old photo album, food has the power to arouse memories and bring us back to special moments in time.


Incredible food, in my opinion, has at least as much to do with nostalgia, as it does with ingredients and technique. To anyone else, the rice and sambhar cooked at my place are probably not the best in the world. But they are the best to me, because of the memories I associate with them and because they’re the rice-sambhar associativity that I’m most familiar with. So even if a dish doesn’t use great ingredients and technique, it’s possible for these limitations to be overcome by the nostalgia that a diner brings to the table. Understanding and taking advantage of your guest's food-related memories is cooking’s secret ingredient.


Food can be incredible when it exceeds our past experiences (our expectations) or when it reminds us of a past experience (nostalgia). By itself, exceeding expectations is a function of better ingredients and technique. It will be much harder to exceed the expectations of someone who has dined at many fine restaurants compared to a person with limited experience. Nostalgia, on the other hand, is based on food-related memories from which the diner can draw upon. So whether or not you've eaten at the world’s best restaurants, it’s likely that you have special food memories that mean more to you than solely the food itself.


So suppose you’re cooking for someone who’s dined at many great restaurants. In order to create food that your guest will consider incredible, it’s intuitive to think that you’ll have to cook at a level that rivals the best food she's ever had - not an easy task. But if you’re able to tap into your guest’s memories and make a dish that’s special to her, your food will mean much more, and she might even find it incredible! (Well, well..I suppose I am using a lot of she's here, so that should tell mammoths about the plot. *lolz!!*)


Now, there's a catch here, however. The inherent risk in cooking with nostalgia is if your guests(well, I mean...any one for that matter :P) don’t get it. For instance, if I were to visit some road side dhaba and have a spaghetti at some Italian Resorante, I’d probably just think it was interesting and strange because I’ve never had the dish elsewhere before, nor do I have any memories associated with the dish. So in order for a dish to appeal a wider audience, it’s important that the food actually tastes good, with or without nostalgia.


Being somewhat of a food geek, I thought I’d take a stab at quantifying nostalgia as it relates to deliciousness. While this isn't really meant to be a formula for plugging in actual numbers, it shows the extent to which nostalgia can influence delicious food. It’s also important to note that you can have negative associations with foods – so no matter how good the ingredients and technique are, you could still dislike a dish because of the unwanted memories you associate with it.

And, tadaan! here I come with a brand new formula which for the temporal reference would be termed as the "Foodalgia Priciple" (Yup, a combo of Food and Nostalgia)

D = (I*T)N+1

where:
D = deliciousness (higher is better)
I = ingredients (0 < I < ∞)
T = technique (0 < T < ∞)
N = nostalgia (-∞ < N < ∞)


Finally to sum it all up. If molecular gastronomy is loosely defined as the science of deliciousness, then perhaps cooking with nostalgia or more generally, cognitive gastronomy can be thought of as the psychology of deliciousness. Within cognitive gastronomy, we could also consider other factors such as how a person’s mood and state of mind affects their enjoyment of food.Lolz!!

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