Written by Carioca Da Gema

 

“My mother baked this cake…”

During my childhood, my friends would bring homemade snacks to school while I packed the supermarket brand. My mother was part of the early wave of women entering the workforce in Brazil.  Getting out of the kitchen for my mother, in the 1970’s, was a way to claim her independence and freedom.

“What do you think you are going to accomplish with these pots & pans?” My father told my mother during a domestic argument.  Cooking for her was demeaning, something a man would not do, a job for women and she hated it.

Today, in her late 70’s, cooking is about keeping healthy, but she still feels no pleasure in standing by the stove and can’t understand my excitement at being able to get my hands on primo ingredients and create a meal around it.

During the last thirty years, with the advent of easier travel, and the internet in the past twenty years, cooking has also become a vehicle of culture one meal at a time.  We can be exposed to as many culinary options as we wish, and purchase ingredients to cook just about anything from anywhere, bringing to our table flavors from places we have never been.

The cooking industry is huge. With an array of items like cookbooks, cooking TV shows, cooking classes, gadgets galore, and culinary trips, all have helped to elevate the act of cooking to become an integral part of what is seen as entertainment and a pleasurable experience.

 

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