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Archive for the ‘Everything food-related’ Category

Food has the right to be clicked

I came across an article saying that in some restaurants, chefs are discouraging customers from photographing their food. They have reasons like- the food gets cold by the time they are done clicking, and that it disturbs other diners who prefer to enjoy their meal quietly.

Eating good food at a good place is what makes MOST of the normal people on this planet happy. Food is, after all, one of the very primary reasons that the entire human race work their asses off for. Night shifts, 7 days-a-week shifts, work-at-home jobs, over-time, working in a different city away from family, thus missing out on numerous precious moments at home–we do it all! And when we do so much, and when we finally manage to take out time to go to a nice place to sit and eat, and when you pin up all your happiness on the moment when that perfectly made meal arrives at your table in ‘picture-perfect’ state, the last thing you need at that point is someone disapproving of your instant reaction to taking pictures of it! Believe me, it can be the biggest turn off!

How do you explain to that person that it is not just food to you at that point, it is something personal, your achievement, the result of your little sacrifices that you do in day-to-day routine. It is something you used to dream of doing when you were in college and had no job or money to afford eating out at a fancy place. Sometimes, it is the ‘only’ good thing happening to you after a rough day at work. And then, to put up with the snobbery of these people who go all cynical the moment you take out your smartphone to capture that beautiful piece of art on your table! My only advice to you in that situation-     I-G-N-O-R-E!!

For they don’t realize that food made like that, is actually a great piece of art in itself! Why do we like paintings? They appeal to your sense of vision. Why do we like perfumes? They appeal to your sense of smell. And why do we like food?? Because food appeals to your sense of vision, sense of smell, sense of taste, sense of touch. That is why, it is the greatest piece of art. And the makers of it are the artists. Why else do chefs take great pains in the ‘presentation’ of the dish? But that is exactly why it is confusing and unconvincing when we hear that certain chefs discourage customers to take pictures at the table. OK, say the food might get cold if we go overboard in clicking, but have you ever heard of an incident where the customer then complains about the meal gone cold because they were too busy clicking? Come on! People have that much common sense to take responsibility for it and eat nevertheless.

The other reason that food-clickers tend to get too loud, please! People are WAY more louder when they come in groups for a birthday party, or reunion with friends over drinks, in which case the noise grows only louder and louder! That can beat a few gasps and clicking noises any time! Not to forget our cute little noise-generators, the kids 🙂 woah! They are a warehouse of all kinds of noises you possibly can or want to hear. Haha!

Having said that, I am absolutely not in favor of clicking food pictures badly! Yes, now and then, I come across really badly-taken food pictures, where the place’s lights are not right, and so the flash is turned on, and the picture taken is so bad that you lose your appetite by looking at it. As I said earlier on, it is a piece of art. Give it the respect it deserves. (And get a better camera for God’s sake!)

And the obvious statement-in-defense needs to be made here. The clicking and sharing of food pictures on social media does an instant publicity for the restaurant, bringing in more business for them at no cost at all.

So please don’t judge, dear ‘haters-of-food-clicking-moments’! Let people enjoy their moments! The world has enough matters to disapprove of, already.

Eat Right. Read Right.

Not everyone is a professional food critic, or a book critic (although, with media tools like Goodreads, where we are encouraged to write book reviews to our hearts’ content, it is difficult NOT to feel like we are!) so when we feel like going to a good place to eat or when we feel like settling down to read a good book, we get a little lost as to how and what to choose. We are also, at times, not aware what we are eating is worth the praise or the book we are reading is good enough? You must be thinking, what’s the big deal, if the food is finger-licking tasty, then that’s it! Of course, the greatest parameter of judging is always..whether YOU enjoy it or not. It’s not ‘what’s currently popular’ all the time, believe me! But then, you are not always sure that the seemingly tasty food you just had is not going to play any tricks on your stomach later on. It’s important to know which ingredients went into the dish to make it so tasty. It’s important to, thus, be familiar with the ‘know-how’ of things. Being a little more aware can not only help you save time and money but also take care of your health and mind.

Similarly, in order to read, apart from the selection of genre, there is this dilemma of whether what I am reading is going to broaden my horizon in any way? Am I reading something ground-breaking or just mediocre? There are times we need certain pointers that could help us in determining whether or not what we eat or what we read is actually good and worth appreciation. I’ve tried to come up with such pointers here- they are handy, and you do not need to be a pro in the department of gastronomy or a literary genius to grasp these:

  • You know when you are reading a good book-
  1. When the writing is effortless. When you are at your 4th or 5th page and it seems the words have risen out of
    the book and transformed into a motion picture’s scene right in front of your eyes smoothly and effortlessly. It should be the most natural thing to happen when you read. Its like you are going around with a visionary balloon that is two-ended; one is hitched to the book and the other one to your head. The balloon goes around wherever the book goes, and wherever you go. If there is any disruption in the scene, that means, there is something wrong with the writing. Either that, or you are unable to comprehend the meaning! 😛 In that case, Hello  Miss. Dictionary!
  2. Some people think it’s the fact that we are able to relate to any of the characters or to the story itself, but that comes second. If that does happen, then guess who shows up? EMOTIONS! Yup, be it any kind, not always joy, no no, in fact, quite many times, it is our childhood memories (nostalgia), or the struggle in our lives (physical or emotional), pain, achievements, disappointments, or our fantasies!  That is when we CONNECT to the book. We feel we have a part of ourselves in that book. In order to make all of this happen, the plot and narration should be spot-on.
  3. If you are beginning to gain interest in the book, look up the author’s name on the internet. It always helps to build a bridge between you and the author by knowing more about him/her. Go through the life history of the author in brief, and you’ll know if the plot is (fully or in parts) autobiographical. Also check whether there are other books/poetry/short stories written by the same author, then you practically have your ‘to-read’ list ready!

You know when you are eating good food at a good place:

  1. OK, these pointers are not for the time when you are going out simply to meet your huge, loud gang of friends for boozing and partying and being content with (or too drunk to care! :P) gorging down your share of paneer tikkas and chicken lollipops! 😛 These tips are for ‘enjoying the whole experience’ of tasteful eating. When you go to these places, as you wait to be seated, its the waiters of that place that make or break the experience. It is very important for the waiters to be well-informed about the food and the menu. In fact, they should know the menu like the back of their hands.  When asked to suggest a good so-and-so dish, they should do it in a friendly, warm, non-intimidating way. Sadly, many restaurants suffer from the problem of having great food but bad waiters. Their body language suggests lack of interest either in the food or in the people they are waiting upon. In the long-run, it won’t get the restaurant much success.
  2. Once your food is on the table, you know its absolutely heavenly, when you can literally taste the various ingredients of that dish. All of the flavors complement each other to bring out the exquisite complete taste of that dish. It’s like, in one, bite, you can practically see each and every ingredient’s role if the dish is cooked properly. On the other hand, you know when a dish is bad; like a badly made red-sauce pasta. Most of the time I have tasted a red-sauce pasta with the sauce’s flavor being too strong, and all I could taste was TOMATO TOMATO- one single ingredient overpowering and ruining the whole dish. Sadness!
  3. Lastly, you can, with practice, know when the food is freshly made, its when it is not soggy when it should actually be crispy, and when it does not leave an after-taste of oil, ghee, or rotten cheese on your tongue. Because stale food is usually the food that was fully-made and then re-fried or re-heated. Freshly made food, however big in calories, will settle in your stomach with ease and you won’t feel like you have swallowed logs!

Hope these simple tips are useful to you.

Book lovers- Happy reading!

Food lovers- Happy eating!