Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Colombian In America: The War of Fast Food vs. The Culture of Cooking

The Big Letter M
To any future reader, my name is Gustavo, as known as Gus Calvo, I am a Colombian leaving in America, specifically in the Deep South but just to be honest I am just in Florida. I am probably the antithesis of a Latino but also I am an nonconformism who can't subdue his ideals to fast food after trying them over year  and finding my stomach and weight suffering after putting myself in an unhealthy diet. As a Colombian I wasn't a fan of much of the dishes because of the high caloric content as well too much of them based on meat but also as an American and someone who the south as take as an adopted child I can satisfy myself either with much of the South Cousine, Soul Food or anything in particular even if I can eat them every now and them my attitudes toward the food tend to be picky because I see in my new home a culture that rounds about fast food and easy solutions to eat, instead of cooking and seating in the table to enjoy a meal that was  cooked properly.

The worst thing an adult can pass by, it's too modify behaviors learned when they are children, relearn to eat can be a traumatic experience if you are obligated by life itself. As Colombian I was never used to the majority of the dishes, I envy the French kids as they can eat anything, but I don't blame my parents they didn't knew how to handle their first born child but I can say it Colombian kids eat also anything. but clearly I was the exception. There are many things amazing in the Colombian cuisine but maybe I never gave them a chance, probably right now I wouldn't in their vast majority but that doesn't mean I won't close my options. Then it came the problem, globalization and McDonald opened in Colombia around 10 years ago and it became a factor in modifying the habits of eating of Colombians because the fast food restaurants were more oriented into barbeque and they took more time to make rather than 3 minutes or less.

I always was familiar with fast food in America since I was little and traveled to vacationing in Florida, I never liked at all and much of the time were I ate a hamburger was when my family and I didn't knew what to eat after spending the day outside. Still many years later, I barely enjoy them because they feel synthetic, fake, not real food that was in the oven or the stove and was prepared with a certain amount of time and not in a rush; that's cooking, and seating in a table or just in front of the television and taking your time to enjoy it, not eating in a rush.

That's probably the mistake of the vast majority of the Americans, they don't take their precious time to eat, they prefer to go outside and snack, or buy something that was made in less than 10 minutes. There is no enjoyment of food in many cities because of the invasion of the fast food restaurants or the convince of the deli's in the supermarkets. That's not eating or cooking, that's an unexplained phenomenon to justify the rushes of he day and that's the worst because there are plenty of options to explore in the culinary world that don't go in the two categories of being restaurants of franchises or really expensive ones.

I know those rushes, but I don't put my food as something that won't fulfill me physical and spiritual, I do enjoy cooking, going to the oven, create something complex, yet simple, yet delicious and yet organic which is my motto at the moment of cooking, "Keep it Simple and Keep it Organic" which is the philosophy we are going to explore on this journey of easy and organic cooking.