Esqusive Cooking
Is your taste determined by your upbringing?

Is your taste determined by your upbringing?

It was once said that an eating addiction or eating disorder is the most difficult to solve. You can quit all kinds of addictions, after all, you can basically do without alcohol, tobacco and drugs. But your body needs food anyway and so the daily recurring pattern can also be a daily battle.

The importance of nutrition

The importance of the subject of food and nutrition is also evident from the countless podcasts, sections in newspapers, magazines and social media posts devoted to it. But even in World War II, the women in the Japanese camps exchanged recipes among themselves. To encourage each other, hoping for better times? Maybe there was some kind of comfort in it, or it gave the impression of a normal life, if you can talk about something random like a every day meal.

The fact that food plays a major role, not only as nutrition, but also in the development of your body becomes clear when you realize that scientists can tell from someone's teeth where in the world this person grew up. Different nutrients leave their own footprint.

Traditions per country or equal approach?

Every country has its traditions in preparing food. But sometimes some kind of variant in every continent comes back in one way or another; the Turkish and Italian pizza, the Dutch pancake and French crêpe, the Mexican tortilla, Indian Flatbread... You could actually say that flatbread exists all over the world. Every country or culture has its own method of preparation, or its own ingredients. In one country, bread is the basis to put the ingredients on, in another country it is used as a tool to scoop up the other food.

Now that everyone travels around the world more easily and we also have access to all kinds of exotic and authentic recipes in every way, it is even more fun to decide for yourself what you like and what you also like to prepare yourself.

Does the cuisine of your childhood influence your own cooking habits?

You can probably roughly assume two pieces of information:

1. You liked the food of your childhood so much that you often cook it yourself

2. You never really liked the food of your childhood, so you started looking for alternatives

In the first case, there is a good chance that you have come up with a variation of these dishes yourself. But the basics will probably have stayed more or less the same; recognizable flavours and a traditional way of preparation.

The second option requires a little more effort. With the advent of the internet, the possibilities for finding new recipes have become almost endless. Where until the 1980s people mainly depended on passing on recipes from parents to children and on consulting cookbooks, this has now changed dramatically.

Still, there are a few unwritten rules. Some recipes are very traditional. When we talk about well-known cuisines, such as Spanish, Italian, but also Asian and Mexican, you can say that recipes are traditionally passed on from (grand)parent to child. And in principle it is not allowed to deviate from this, because that detracts from the recipe. This is also evident from the many Asian 'street food' stalls, where old ladies still prepare the dishes exactly as they learned from their mother. And continue to do so.

Of course, it is no longer the case that it is only passed on from mother to daughter. After all, many good cooks are men and they too undoubtedly benefit from the knowledge they once acquired at the kitchen table at home.

Recipes from across the border

Until ingredients and recipes crossed borders more easily, people also cooked with foreign recipes, for example because people had lived abroad and brought their experiences back to their native country. In which they deviated from the established habit of, for example, putting salt in everything, but used traditional (native) herbs and thus introduced the exotic taste that people were not used to. But conversely, in 'abroad', the food of the country of birth may also have been regularly on the table. As far as the ingredients were and are available, of course. In the supermarkets in parts of the south of France, for example, it is very difficult to find kale or endive.

The menu of many people is probably still partly determined by the tastes you inherited from home. Or by a belief that you prefer not to eat meat, or want to eat vegan. With a healthy dose of curiosity, you can also give this your own twist, or look for completely new angles and dishes. With a surprising outcome.

But sometimes you wonder if the influence of your ancestors doesn't secretly work through in the preferences of the new generation of cooking enthusiasts. With parents who have been brought up fairly traditionally with the eating habits of the 70s and 80s and who have experienced the whole development of instant meals and instant sauce sachets, we eventually arrive at Asian cuisine through wanderings from Italian to Mexican. No salt, but lots of fresh herbs and spices such as mint, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic and so on.

The only thing that is missing is a bale of rice under the kitchen table, like the great grandparents used to have.