The kitchen has changed my life

Desserts

When I identify as food blogger to people outside this world, the reactions are usually the same. "Come on, and do you cook a lot? Why do you like it so much? How did you start? " Normally I give somewhat vague answers, and it is that normally I do not stop to think about how I have arrived at the moment in which I am. However, I have realized that cooking has changed my life.

I know it may sound bombastic or exaggerated, especially since I am not professionally dedicated to the world of catering or hospitality, but looking back I can affirm that this growing passion for everything that surrounds gastronomy has had a decisive influence on my path to adult life.

Exploring the world through flavors

I am very clear that my first approach to the culinary world came about thanks to the fact that I come from a multicultural family with relatives of different origins. My Spanish roots lie in the middle of the Murcian garden, while the paternal side takes me to Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Colombia, also passing through Italy and Germany.

Since I was little, I have had the opportunity to travel a lot and therefore to grow up knowing other different cultures that, inevitably, included different cuisines. Visiting family and going abroad has always been about delving into other culinary customs, trying new dishes, discovering ingredients and products.

Without realizing it, I developed a natural curiosity towards the traditional cuisine of each new place I visited, and I think this was fundamental in a time when we were not yet experiencing the full explosion of the internet. Contact with other gastronomies helped me, and helps me, to discover the world, to explore other places through its flavors.

Those trips to see distant family also meant something else. Visits always involve family and friends gatherings around the table, between dishes that always seemed like banquets to me. Sitting down to dinner was not only a process to kill hunger, they were also reunions, moments and shared memories. I learned the emotional value that cooking can have.

Pleasure and health

When someone becomes interested in cooking, beyond the pure act of eating, a learning process inevitably begins that not only involves mastering new recipes or techniques. With practice it is easy to end up falling in love with the kitchen and everything that surrounds it, and that is when you not only cook to eat, but also do it with real pleasure.

The Swiss connection that I have discussed led me as a teenager to try to recreate my grandmother's cookies at home, and so I gradually discovered that I enjoyed cooking a lot, despite the many initial disasters. From the confectionery I went into the daily dishes from the hand of my mother, and the networks, books and magazines and did the rest.

And there was something else: I was gaining in health. In this interest in culinary issues, it is inevitable to start learning about nutritional aspects, and that is how I realized the many mistakes that my diet had and the need to change certain habits. As I learned to cook, I assimilated healthier techniques, ingredients and recipes for a more balanced diet, even becoming aware of the environment.

I also discovered that he was lactose intolerant, with the necessary confirmation from the medical diagnosis. At that time it was not something very well known yet and knowing why so many foods made me feel bad and how I could solve it greatly improved my quality of food life.

Cooking as therapy

I mentioned that I started cooking as a teenager, a time always somewhat complicated. In my personal case, I had some difficult years in which I got to see the ears of the wolf of eating disorders, but luckily I was able to get out of there before falling into a too deep well. And the kitchen played a very important role in it.

I couldn't help feeling identified when I shared the news about psychological therapies that use cooking as a treatment, as it has helped me too. Cooking one can abstract from the world, concentrate on flavors and aromas, on being in control of what is being prepared. It helps a lot to regain a healthy appetite when you are the one who cooks, choosing the ingredients and controlling all the steps. It is easier to enjoy food when you love cooking and reconnect with the essence of the product.

Years later, when I moved from the city, the kitchen also became something of a refuge. The first steps in a different place, starting a new life, are often difficult, and cooking helped me adjust, create a new home and new routines. Home cooking is comforting, and it also allowed me to make my way little by little in Madrid life.

Friendships and experiences

Any little chef that steps into a new city takes little time to explore markets, shops, restaurants and businesses of all kinds. It is clear that Madrid offers one of the most interesting gastronomic panoramas in our country, with a huge offer that grows every day in many fields related to cuisine.

Thus, this love of cooking led me to meet many faces of the capital and to come into contact with different people and to create many new friends. There is nothing like sharing your enthusiasm for cooking with another passionate about it, even if our conversations sometimes seem a bit crazy from the outside.

Of course, social media, the blogging phenomenon and my work at Directo al Paladar - I've even collaborated on a book! - They have helped a lot so that the gastronomic world now has such an important role in my life. I have met many great people, today good friends, I continue to learn every day and I have realized that this hobby has become a way of life.

Cooking fascinates me, entertains me and relaxes me. I discover new flavors and new cultures, I learn avant-garde techniques and reconnect with past traditions. I control what we eat at home, I lead a healthier life and I do not stop living new experiences. Today I can affirm that cooking has changed my life, and that enthusiasm for gastronomy is more alive than ever.

Images | Pixabay
Directly to the Palate | Cooking and baking as therapy for depression
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