Five funny food fundamentals

Last updated 12:26 16/11/2012

I think about food a lot, you will be unsurprised to learn. It would seem to me that food is one of the biggest, broadest, vastest general subjects there are. Foods of different nations and cultures, methods and techniques for cooking, different ingredients, eating at home, eating out, eating alone, eating with friends and family.

HaloumiTo a greater or lesser degree I reckon just about everybody engages on some level with food. Most people like to eat nice food (the exception being some friends of mine in Christchurch - brothers, who, years ago, would eat for dinner every night a) a can of tuna b) a carrot c) an apple - peculiar). Many people gain satisfaction from cooking food for themselves and others to eat. It is an act of giving, of sharing, of love.

I am terrifically grateful to those of you who read this forum, who comment, who share ideas, who add stories and ideas and information; you expand the scope of what this is and can be - I don't think of this as a platform for me to tell you how it is, and how it has to be - rather, I am, like you, hopefully, someone who is interested in food, and eating, and cooking, and just what it means to take a real interest and care in what you eat.

I have certain tenets that I try to adhere to - wherever possible I will choose locally grown produce, free-range chicken and pork and eggs. I have made a conscious decision to shop locally, with locally owned and operated businesses rather than multinationals, and to reduce the amount of meat I consume, in favour of a larger quantity of seasonal fruit and vegetables. I don't judge anyone who eats in a different way. I just tell you what I do.

And it is a dialogue - always remember that - you are able to comment on any Stuff blog, and many of the articles (though you do now need to sign up and register an email address - go on, it'll only take five minutes).

And, for today, I am going to share with you five funny things I think about food;

1)            Apples seem crunchier when you core and slice them - I have no idea why this is. It must be a perception thing, because slicing them can't actually alter the texture - can it? (as opposed to slicing an orange, where you actually break through the segments, making it juicier) - any ideas?

2)            Fried cheese is awesome - whether it is haloumi, or paneer, or the Greek saganaki, or even just the way cheese goes on to the grill to go into a burger, fried cheese is amazing. Last night I egg-and-breadcrumbed some slices of Zany Zeus haloumi and fried them, and served them with a warm salad of seasonal veges - courgettes (they've just got really good!), broccoli, broad beans and rocket (see pic) - in a lemony vinaigrette, plus some new potatoes - satisfying, tasty and light. I didn't miss having meat.

3)            No one can ever make you a cup of tea that is quite as good as that which you make for yourself - this is a bit of a bummer, 'cos it would be great if they could. I am very neurotic about tea - I like it very strong, with just the tiniest trickle of milk, and half a sugar. I have mastered making tea in this fashion. No one else even comes close.

4)            When you are on holiday, two meals a day is usually enough - pretty sure this is because you are likely to be expending less energy than if you are working or whatever, but also, I reckon it is because we often use food and eating just as a way of punctuating our day - breakfast/ morning tea/ lunch/ afternoon tea/ dinner/ cuppa etc. If you are doing other awesome stuff, you feel less inclined to make eating meals the highlight of your day (although it is always nice when it is, I reckon). And, finally...

5)            Dining out on your own is a good thing to do  - I do it quite a bit. I take a book, or a crossword, or the newspaper. I like it. You can eat what you want, where you want, when you want. And you don't have to share.

So, there are my five funny food fundamentals for a Friday. Please feel free to share with me any food curiosities or little rules you have formed off your own bat, and tell me what you think of mine - agree? Disagree? Think they are silly?!

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