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3 things I learnt from watching food shows on TV

A Bollywood adage says ‘Someone, somewhere is made for you.’ It’s the same with food shows on TV. There’s going to be one made for you. The one that either makes you want to weep with happiness at spotting a cupcake with perfect icing or a TV show that makes you want to step into the kitchen and cook up a storm.  Mostly, you just end up eating the cupcake with much ferocity and leave the aftermath of a storm in the kitchen which will have your help swearing at you. Point is, food shows on TV and us were meant to be. We fall in love, we give them time and money (by voting) and gradually evolve together. And in many ways, whether the relationship makes it through to the very end or not, we do learn a few things from TV shows. Like these.

You go fancy with your food vocab

You couldn’t tell Maggi from Top Ramen before them. Now, with every episode of Masterchef or a food show of your choice, you won’t settle for a shallow fried fish. It better be pan seared. And it’s not dipping tomatoes in hot water, it’s blanching them. Before you would point to an item in the menu at the restaurant. Now, you want to pronounce it. Yup, these TV have us thinking we are fancy literature graduates. I asked my mom to sous vide something and she threw a parantha at me, do I suggest sticking to this fancy lingo only in restaurants or somewhere you can seem pretentious without risking an attack on yourself.

You want to pursue a degree in art

Should you put a delicately peeled tomato next to that big, purple cabbage? Is this carrot the right colour of orange?  Such become the questions on your mind thanks to these food shows. Now, you are worried about creating a contrast on the plate so you need to refer to a colour wheel and the complementary colours and what colours will look good on a plate of what colour. You have to worry about the leaf of coriander being too green (with envy?) or the spinach being too ungreen.  Even if the best we could manage in art class was stick figure, we have set the standards for food, impossibly high.

You need patience

You could learn patience by having a hyperactive child. Or you could learn it by trying to get seasme seed to look appealing on its own on a plate. Food shows will have you believe that plating is everything. So, all the food is carefully arranged on the plate and each element adds to the dish. You need to find the perfectly shaped leaf, sort through many cumin seeds to spot the one you can use and find a mango that not only tastes good but also has a hint of red so it looks good on the plate. If sorting mangoes doesn’t test your patience, I don’t know what will. Maybe try having a child while sorting mangoes or something.

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