There are few things that unite people like food. It’s a necessary piece of life, but we’ve made it more than that. These days, since humanity is less worried about survival and more worried about flavor profiles, food is no less key, and has in fact become more of a form of self-expression than our ancestors probably ever could have guessed.
It’s important to note that I’m no expert. I have opinions, naturally, and I know what I like, but I have no culinary expertise and would not be able to cook my way out of a fully stocked kitchen with two hands and a cookbook. However, cooking and eating are independent processes, and I’m quite accomplished at the latter. As I’ve said, I have opinions, and my goal here is to share them in a way that will inform and benefit you, dear reader.
But what is it, exactly, that makes for a good meal? Primarily, I think a good meal should leave you satisfied. Food, after all, is first and foremost for sustenance; I fear many people lose sight of this fact. All too frequently, I hear people complain about how food looks and refuse to eat it for that reason alone. This is a travesty, as some of the most delicious meals I’ve had weren’t all that pretty. Related note: traditional African cuisine is something not to miss (see the “Travel” Umbrella Post for more details on that).
When I discuss food, I will be paying attention to a few key aspects. The amount of food for the price is one. I’ll also be paying attention to how coherent of a meal the pieces create. There’s a reason certain side dishes are paired with specific main courses, and I’ll be watching for whether or not the pairings all make sense together.