Traditional food
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Traditional food and cooking is a sound, organic structure with roots meandering deep into the mists of time securely anchored to safe practice. Traditional food and cooking applies a strict non-discrimination policy. It has no favourites and no sinners. The only requirement, if there is one, is to ditch or at least avoid as far as possible new, invented foods and ingredients. Unlike many modern food fads, traditional food and cooking never favours one food over the other. All natural foods are treated equally since traditional cooking recognises that each food has a part to play and that part can only be performed in synchronisation with the whole. A varied and balanced diet of traditional foods delivers the optimum amount of nutrients in the exact amounts our human body requires for optimum well being. Encouraging consumption of all natural, traditional foods is an excellent way of ensuring we eat a variety of foods that can deliver optimum well being.

Our ancestors, like us, were interested in maximising taste, flavour, texture, nutrition and safety. Consuming a safe, tasty nutritious dish is not a modern concept. It is as old as the hills. For this reason traditional practise is excellent at maximising flavours, taste and texture. Traditional practice ensures that anti-nutrients are neutralised and beneficial nutrients maximised. Traditional practice is effective at storing food for long periods of time whilst gifting us the kind of nutrients essential to robust good health. Modern practice looks awkward, inelegant and clumsy in comparison.

What exactly is traditional food and cooking?

As any good art expert will tell you when being asked to judge the authenticity of a canvass – begin with the provenance. So too with food. Before we decide whether the food is authentic, traditional and real examine the back-story to this sugar, or fat, or grain, or meat, or dish or drink. Has it formed a traditional part of our diet for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and how did our ancestors prepare this food?

What emerges is not that astounding really. The only food of sound provenance is traditional food. Traditional food and cooking is the benchmark by which we can ascertain, in all confidence, that we are eating natural foods brimming with the exact amounts of nutrients that our body has been designed to digest. It is the food that nature has gifted us in all her beneficence not a product born out of a test tube. It is the only food our ancestors could have consumed. Any changes to food that may have occurred over the centuries happened at a time and pace decided by nature. Never at a speed that fossil fuels can magically deliver. Traditional food and cooking is the vast, varied and tasty body of food our metabolisms has evolved to digest.

It is really quite astounding how earlier populations – regardless of what part of the world they hail from – had an innate, as opposed to scientific, understanding of best practice when it comes to growing, rearing, harvesting, preparing, cooking and preserving the food they had access to. What our ancestors knew and understood they passed on to the next generation with love. Traditional food and cooking was a thread stitched from one generation to the next in a continuous seam without interruptions for thousands of years. It was abruptly severed when factories powered by fossil fuels were able to mass produce food in a way the home hearth never could and when chemists began to patent their new food inventions advising us their invented products were healthier than the food that when before.

The time is now ripe for us to reengage in traditional food and cooking. Just about the only non-traditional aspect of Master in the Kitchen is the huge variety of real food from all over the world we now have access to. After a century of misleading information on food safety, healthy diets and invented foods traditional cooking is once again modern.  Many of us are fortunate enough to benefit from the kind of kitchen equipment and utensils our ancestors could only dream of. Our access to electric blenders, gas or electric ovens, hand-held blenders, freezers and fridges is distinctly non-traditional. None of these things are consumed or ingested so are safe to use. Never has it been so easy to prepare tasty, nutritious dishes in our own kitchens. Let us make the most of our good fortune to prepare natural, real but above all traditional dishes in our modern kitchens.

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