It’s finally monsoon season here in Tucson, AZ. After having the BigHorn fire ravaged the Catalina Mountains for the past few weeks. It is also getting hotter here. With the temps hovering around the 100’s. Most of us that have lived here for a while, know how to deal with the heat. Our love for food hasn’t diminished at all.
I have started to think more about supporting local places while on this lockdown. Without a car, that can make it hard to pick up. There are other means, but that is not the topic here. I have now been thinking about spices and herbs. Why? Because, like many of you, I have plenty of free time. Besides, I love how they add to foods, drinks, and the aroma floating in the air.
The thinking of food and how it brings people together. While here in the US, sitting together to share food is not as common as it once was. I believe that being more busy working and doing other things. This has brought out quick meals and such to compete with a busier lifestyle. While in other parts of the world, there is no real schedule. Time is set aside for the family to get together. To share a meal together. No running off or anything.
Thinking of food…
Since I have been thinking of food and being able to share a plate of food with whoever I meet. The thoughts tend to drift into the haze of flavors that come forth when you add some herbs or spices. Think about that for a moment. Each form of spice brings forth the flavors in a dish with such subtle differences that eating without them is just, well, bland.
While some things can be eaten raw, just adding that pinch of salt or sugar to something, makes it all come forth in your mouth. The flavors are what gives that dish or vegetable it’s flavor. It gives you a memory about it. You associate it with food, the people you are with, or the feeling you get when you eat it.
With herbs, I have always loved the smell of rosemary. I will try to have a bush somewhere near me. For cooking, the aroma, and the overall use it gives. Taking a walk either downtown or through a market, you get all the smells and sounds of the area. Thinking of pairing food with that memory. You will tend to find that one aroma that sticks with you. Regardless if it’s food or not. It’s your brain telling you to remember this place. You will come back and have that smell come back again, and know you are in familiar territory. You will start to remember all of the other smells of the food, the area, and how it invokes you to think about how this area meant something to you.
Many people have started to cook more at home, not out of a need, but of necessity. Many herbs started to gain new uses within the home. I started to use more, due to being at home more. I wanted to start exploring more of chilis and its uses in Mexican cooking. Even started to look more into Italian cooking. I am finding similarities with herbs and some spices.
So I have another post in the works to go into more detail about herbs and spices. I wanted to do a quick post about the feeling and emotion behind the herbs and spices that we use every day. Some may not think about it, others watch what some will do to their health. You can even use some of it for the aromatherapy aspect of it within your home. I know I do with a few.
We all have that one dish that entices fond memories of the past. The smell of grandma’s house when you were coming over. Or the smell of that small village market in Europe or elsewhere, where you got that delicious quick bite to eat.
In a time where people need to be more open and willing to share a plate of food. Especially within the US, I love seeing that people are still coming out and sharing their food. Being able to share a plate of food, start a dialogue, and enjoy the company that you have brought to the table. You may just have a great memory to share and a new friend in the process.