United States

-Big sister to 5 younger siblings
-Baking enthusiast
-Book addict
-Aspiring author
-Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Message to Readers

I know it's a little long, I would love some feedback on how to revise and cut back!

Food Sense

May 8, 2019

    A colorful salad, artfully arranged on a plate. The feel of sticky bread dough in your hands. The crunch of a chip, perfectly thin that just snaps when you bite it.  The scent of cinnamon wafting through the air. The taste of warm chocolate, as you dig in to a fresh chocolate chip cookie. This is my childhood. These things bring back memories that I wasn't even aware I had. Food can help use all of our senses to remember life.
   There is a common saying in the food industry, "You eat first with your eyes." This may seem unimportant, but its so true! As humans, we love beauty. We are always searching for the most enchanting melody, the pinkest flower, the prettiest face. When we see something beautiful we think, "I want to be part of that!" When a dish of food is presented to you, it matters what it looks like. If it looks like a pile of brown sludge on stop of rice, will you want to eat it? Of course not! It needs to look appetizing. It needs to look irresistible. A home cooked meal can look just as appetizing as a five star restaurant meal. If there is color, and neatness, the food can draw you in, even if it is not the fanciest thing you've ever eaten. Many memories are conjured up by seeing something familiar. Food is a necessity of life, and as such we are around it all of the time. Many moments in our life are with food. When I see a hamburger, I think of summer barbecues with all of my friends. I see my dad standing over the grill flipping burgers. I see us jumping into a glittering pool, with the sun blazing above us. All because I saw a burger.
    My mom always told me and my siblings not to play with our food. There is something about food that makes you just want to pick it up in your hands and play with it! It was always a good day when mom made something for dinner that we could eat with our hands such as tacos, hot dogs, or pizza. It was the best feeling to be able to take it in my hand, feel the roughness, the warmth, before I put it in my mouth. Touching food is also a huge part of the cooking process. For centuries, recipes were passed down from mother to daughter by showing with the hand a pinch of salt or a handful of flour. They didn't have measuring cups, so they just felt how much with their hands. There are 2,500 feeling receptors per square centimeter in our finger tips! It's inevitable that many memories are made with our hands. When I touch bread dough, I remember when I was five. My mom makes her own wheat bread, and I loved to watch her shape the loaves. She bought little bread pans, and she gave me and my sister bread dough to play with. We would treat it like play dough and build all kinds of sculptures out of it. When we grew tired of that, Mom would show us how to shape it and put it in our own little bread pans. This special memory all from the touch of sticky dough.
    Sound is an amazing thing. There is so much joy to be found through sound. Food makes a surprising amount of noise. Some crunch, some slurp, some sizzle, some squeak in your teeth, but all food makes sound.  I read a cake recipe once that said you should listen to your cake to see if it was cooked through. Listen to my cake! Was it magically going to tell me if it needed to cook longer? Despite my skepticism, I tried it out, and the recipe was right! I put my ear close to the cake, and the cake was crackling. There was still moisture in the cake that needed to cook out. I put it back in the oven for a few minutes, and when I pulled it out, it was perfectly baked. For most of us, we hear sounds our whole lives. When I hear a cookie crunch, I think of trying to bake with my dad. My mom was sick, so Dad decided that we should bake ginger snaps for her. Neither of us had made them before, but I agreed quickly. We made the cookie dough perfectly, and then we put the dough balls in the oven. Dad set the timer, and we waited. Unfortunately, my dad misread the recipe and put the cookies in for 15 minutes instead of 10. They were so crunchy you might break a tooth biting into one! Luckily, we had more cookie dough and the next batch turned out better. Just the sound of crunchy cookie brings this adventure back to me.
    Smell is so important when it comes to food. The smell first makes you want the food, and then it helps you enjoy the food to its full extent. Food should smell interesting, and make us hungry and curious. It should awaken our imagination to dream what this dish my taste like. Smell is highly connected to memory.  We strongly associate scents with other things. When I smell soy sauce, I think of my dad. My dad is in the Air Force, and we were stationed in Japan for three years. My dad loves Japanese food and he has passed on that love to me. Sometimes for a treat, he will take us out to a sushi restaurant. The smell of soy sauce brings back stories he tells us of life in Japan. All from the scent of a sauce.
    Taste is perhaps the most important part of the food experience. Cooking is mostly to make food taste as amazing as possible. Spices  bring variety and flavor to dishes, and make eating an enjoyable time of day. Our sense of smell helps enhance flavors, and brings the eating experience to a whole new level! My favorite flavor is chocolate. When I taste chocolate, I remember the cake Mom makes for every year on my birthday. It's called Chocolate Death and it is the most indulgent cake I have ever tasted. Its chocolate cake with chocolate chips, chocolate pudding, and Oreos in between layers. The whole thing is covered in chocolate cream cheese frosting. Chocolate reminds me of how much my mom loves me.
    Sight, touch, sound smell and taste. This is how we experience and remember life. Food helps us  remember special moments, special places, and special people in our lives. I hope that you will take a moment to think about the food you have experinced. Who made it for you? Why? Why was it so special? Food matters.



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