EatIngredients.com --  a podcast and website dedicated to anecdotal cooking as expressed through my poetry and foodstuff listings.EatIngredients.com --  a podcast and website dedicated to anecdotal cooking as expressed through my poetry and foodstuff listings.
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ANECDOTE 006: June 16, 2006 [listen]
Culinary Competitive Intelligence: Contexture

Family and friends have complimented me on the dishes I had prepared for potluck dinners and holiday events. Upon receiving such accolades, I have been asked what was in this, or how did I prepare that. To which I would reply, “Well, with a little bit of this and that, I throw in the other--something like when, but only now, resulting in something other than that to come up with this.” Such was the situation for the Three Wise Cheeses and Macaroni--my most infamous evolution from my mother's kitchen. (Mom's devilled eggs and potato salad still remain undefeated.)

My cheese combination came about by making friends with a Shoppe curator who inadvertently guided me in the selection. I was a weekly customer who tasted samples prior to purchase. The curator, she mentored me on how to contexturize: contextualize texture lingually; a vernacular that cannot be described in words or by taste. After I decided on the three cheeses for my artisanal dish, I went home to construct.

I returned to the Shoppe and presented the curator with a sample of my effort, which she accepted in delight. With this particular batch of Three Wise Cheeses and Macaroni, that was the other I was able to accomplish: a crunchy top with a creamy, yet firm body. When I arrived a week later, the curator was ecstatic about the contexturalization. She anecdoted, when she attempted to replicate the "macaroni," she could not. Demandingly, she wanted to know now the other ingredients and preparation nuances. Thinking of my mother, I regretted that the Three Wise Cheeses was a family secret that I cold not divulge at this time. Frustrated and disappointed, the curator understood.

On my next visit to the Shoppe, the curator did not acknowledge my existence. She refused me by going into the back room. Upon ensuing entrances, her behavior was the same until she disappeared from the Shoppe altogether. Her colleagues gave me a disapproving glare. There were mutual regrets by all. I did not go back to the Shoppe for weeks, months--banished. At present, the only efficient way to procure the cheeses within a single order is to go online; however, the opportunity to contexturize is lost.

I still make the Three Wise Cheeses and Macaroni on special occasions. I think of the curator affair as I listen to the feedback from family and friends as they contexturize their lip-smack. For I (and my wife) know, having eaten every batch, that every batch is different, be the difference in the ratio of the cheese combination, or (freshly) ground black/white pepper, or noodle al dente. I try to cook to the kinship's palate, keeping family secrets (heart and soul) intact: this, foodstuff listing; that, preparation nuances; the other, evolution; when, by situation; now, by construct.

 

Feel free to exercise thought by sending me an email regarding preparation nuances. Be sure to experiment with flavor--and remember, eat your mistakes, uh, ingredients. (Disclaimer)
Copyright © 2006 by Edward K. Brown II, All Rights Reserved