The Food Experience

Food isn’t solely for sustenance: it’s a way of life. Although some people disregard meals and see them merely as necessary, I look forward to the parts of the day cut out to revel in the Earth’s bounty. I was raised to appreciate good food, to criticize it, and to enjoy it.

I have loved food since I was young; when I was little, I wrote recipes and bought numerous cookbooks, and my mom and I baked and cooked new dishes all the time. I wanted to be a chef, then a baker, then a food critic. I absolutely hated fast food, and I was lucky enough to have a family who ate a home-cooked dinner together almost every night.

You don’t get the full experience of good food until you taste each carefully crafted aspect, notice the hard work put into it, and appreciate the dish as a whole. I have always been able to detect ingredients in food; I can pick out what seasonings and ingredients were used in the dish. One time, my mom made a spiced cake, and I named all three spices that she used in it. In another instance, my mom had used olive oil instead of vegetable oil in the cornbread she had made, and I instantly tasted the difference. This ability is called supertasting; although flavors are enhanced, they are also intensified, so certain foods like olives are extremely salty to me. Despite this, I enjoy my improved sense of taste.

To me, cooking food is like writing: there are right and wrong ways, yet there are limitless options, combinations, and possibilities. The science involved is incredible as well; molecular gastronomy, an area of food science, deals with modifying the composition of food. By using techniques such as infusion, spherification, and dehydration, chefs can make food look and taste like almost anything they want. Ingredients are like a blank palette, ready to be altered and combined into one piece of art, one symphony of flavors.

I’m the kid who gets more excited for the food than the party; the kid who loves not just to eat food, but to appreciate it.