Love to Taste
First of all, thank you for being here!
Thank you for having the curiosity to visit this site and reading this blog!
Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Manucra,
Manu to my friends.
I am Italian and i live (at the moment) in Holland.
I underline 'at the moment' because change is a constant in my life and I move a lot.
In this first article I would like to introduce you to this project called Love to Taste, a space dedicated to cooking, nature, beauty and food. A blog about all this and something more.
A page to discover the story of a notebook that becomes a great little book, that aims to inspire its readers to dabble in what is called the art of magical cooking, a story that began four decades ago .
I grew up in a grocery shop that belonged to my grandmother and was called: L'Antica Bottega di Tina, Tina's old shop.
Grandma Tina was a hard worker!
She had one of those food shops where you can find a little bit of everything, she had two dogs and a passion for playing the lotto!
She cooked well, traditional dishes with a special talent for preparing 'risotto', she used to say that rice is born in water
and dies in wine.
She was a woman of other times!
She had a reverent respect for her customers and worked with the strength of someone who has built her life.
I remember that she often wore a pink or blue apron and a bit of parfume.
We children, when we spent time with her, would stay in the shop,
because that shop was her life.
We helped her a bit, she gave us simple tasks to occupy ourselves, like putting biscuits on the shelf or going to collect green leaves with which to decorate the fruit baskets.
At other times we would play "cashier and customer" in a real shop, it was a lot of fun!
On the top shelves she kept large glass jars full of sweets and chocolates, at that time it was still customary to give chocolates as gifts.
Today those big pots are mine!
I keep them in a metal trunk, just like you keep a treasure!
Food is a constant in everyone's life,
or at least it should be,
but everyone validates it in their own way.
For me, the acts of cooking and eating are complex acts that blends wisdom, tradition, love and beauty.
They take care, time, presence.
And they take someone to be shared with.
Because shared things are more real, they become memories, stories and unite people.
Last but not least, it takes Love, just enough!
q.b. in Italian recipes, is the way to indicate the quantity of an ingredient equal to one's personal taste.
Hence the title of this project, Amore q.b. literally Love to Taste.
My grandfather, Antonio, on the other hand, had a large vegetable garden, he made food for the whole family!
I spent a lot of time with him too, I had my own little watering can and I could make my own pies in the open air!
I learned how to sow with him, first he prepared the soil, then he sowed and watered and after he was patient!
The result was guaranteed! Tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, ribs, courgettes, beans, string beans and lots and lots of cherries!
My grandfather spoke little and did a lot. If he wasn't working in the garden, he was fishing or hunting, he'd been to war and grew up that way, self-supporting.
Today I am a holistic therapist, specialized in Family Constellations.
So don't be surprised if I start by honouring the ancestors.
From them comes our life and much of who we are.
I dedicate this work to my grandparents and parents,
to them I owe my passion for cooking and beauty and my life!
Cooking is an alchemical act, it is about skilfully adding ingredients together and turning them into something useful and beautiful.
The kitchen can be a magical place where everyone is casting spells!
Food involves all the senses, smell, touch, taste, sight and even hearing.
It is a complete and sensual experience that nourishes body and soul.
Cooking is a ritual, especially when it takes up and repeats ancient gestures and traditions.
Like any ritual, it begins with caring for the space in which you work: the kitchen.
This then becomes a sacred place, a domestic temple,
which originates from the ancient concept of "hearth" and
has always represented warmth, the meeting point of the family.
Cleanliness, order, beauty, chosen and loved utensils, a careful choice of ingredients, fragrances, smells and the elements that come together: water and fire, the earth that gives us its fruits and the air that carries the smells.
From this poetic vision comes this little book,
entitled Love to Taste.
In this magical kitchen, everything takes on a meaning and every gesture is accompanied by an intention. This is what happens with each ingredient, which,
as well as having a nutritional value, also takes on
a symbolic value listed in this text.
I find the studies carried out on water molecules by Dr. Masaru Emoto very fascinating.
This man demonstrates in a scientific way how water reacts to external stimuli: emotions, words, and sounds visibly influence it. Emoto also shows that water has a memory and is able to convey information by transmitting it to similar molecules, informing other water.
It happens that almost every human, animal and vegetable body is essentially composed of water.
If we provide a glass of water with the information of healing, allowing each molecule to absorb this energy, then drink it, the informed water transmits the healing information to the water present in our body thereby transmitting the information to the whole system!
This is the idea with which many homeopathic remedies are realized.
According to this theory, this process can also happen unconsciously.
Could an angry person handle the same water, subject it to his anger and transmit this kind of information to the water?
The answer is yes!
And what would happen to the person who drinks it?
He'd probably experience unmotivated anger shortly afterwards. The popular magic tradition recognizes on a planetary level that the best vehicle to make what is called a "potion" is food.
Let me explain better.
A "magic work" is considered easily and surely effective when it is conveyed with food, because food is easily loaded with intentions and emotions and because it is ingested, taken up, absorbed by those who receive it.
In food and water there is much more than the nutritional elements that serve our physical body.
There are emotions and intentions that have a tangible effect on us.
So what happens to food that is prepared, packaged industrially by machines?
The food industry, with the intent to meet the frenetic pace of modern life, has produced a homogenization of tastes and desires and a flattening of food pleasure.
Giving us the vulgar happiness of food designed at the table, beautiful to look at and inviting in every sensory aspect, but poor in quality from a nutritional point of view.
Scientists and food technologists study daily how to increase the palatability of food by dosing the flavors and studying the right consistency, aroma, noise emitted when we bite and then chew them.
If food can be a vehicle of emotions and intentions, what will the food packaged by industrial machinery be full of?
Not emotions, not intentions.
Only a "cold" food capable of keeping the human organism alive but not of feeding the human being.
Another aspect not to be underestimated is that the industrialization of food has enormously mortified conviviality:
a pillar of family and social life, culminating in the pleasure of savouring food with words and accompanying lunches with conversations.
This book, wants to bring the reader's attention back to the energy qualities contained in what we ingest.
Now, more than ever, I think we need this.
Popular magic, which has its roots in the past, recognizes the importance of every single ingredient, gesture and intent.
It returns to food the value it really deserves, this is much broader than simply satiating ourselves momentarily.
“When a Cook he also becomes a Magic Chef, every ingredient, every spice, every smell is blessed and his spirit invoked, the kitchen turns into a temple, becomes a sacred place and this is his kingdom.” cit.
This book is therefore a cookbook and it is also a book of magic.
Together we will turn cooking into a fun game where every culinary recipe becomes a magic potion. We will discover that plants, flowers and fruit can be powerful allies, keepers of an ancient wisdom that tells the story of the world and of humans.
Cooking will become an act of creative meditation.
There is an energy that animates all that is,
the same energy that makes a seed become a tree.
The one that makes the sun come up every morning,
the one that permeates everything and that transforms everything. We'll call it Life or Divine.
We could say that this force is the essence of everything,
the central core around which everything takes shape;
as if to say:
we are all different manifestations of the same force, Life.
It is wise to consider that if Life permeates the entire Universe,
then it's also in the flowers and the trees, in the storm,
in the creatures of the woods, in the fish of the rivers,
and certainly it is in Us!
Life, in all its forms, however it manifests itself, from the sky to You, passing through this book or your computer, unites us, men, animals, plants and things, on the path that we lead.
... shared things are more real,
they become memories, stories
and unite people.