We all have grown up witnessing Maslow’s hierarchy in action even if all may not have studied it in a classroom setting. The world-renowned theory of needs and motivation places basic physiological needs of every individual at the very bottom of the pyramid — food, clothing and shelter. In fact, very rightly so, because only after the fundamental needs are fully satisfied, that one gets to think about other aspects of life — entertainment, self esteem, and eventually self actualisation. But perhaps, change affects everything, sometimes even the seemingly unquestionable facts. What if the basic physiological needs start rising up the hierarchy and offer a way to achieve ‘safety’, ‘love and belongingness’ or ‘self-esteem’?
Broader canvasThe change is visible in every stage of the whole process, from purchasing of vegetables/grocery items, cooking, to plating and serving the dish. Earlier, buying vegetables was usually among the most mundane chores around the house, but not so any more. Now food enthusiasts painstakingly look for fresh produce, unheard of herbs and condiments making mental calculations of combining flavours. Herbs like celery, buckwheat, parsley, lemon grass, pak choi, leek, rosemary, asparagus and basil are being used not just in continental-style cooking but also in Indian dishes. The variety is not limited to herbs and condiments only, newer vegetables — artichokes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, zucchini, lettuce, yellow/red bell peppers, and many more — have made an entry in the regular kitchens. These vegetables were not to be seen in the local markets a couple of decades back.
Anybody can cookThe process of cooking food itself has become an interesting activity thanks to the concept of open kitchens, which does not make the home cooks feel banished to one corner of the house away from the company of other members and visitor’s in the house. Rather, the work area has become a place to show off with beautiful modular kitchens and attractive gadgetry giving the erstwhile lowly, dingy kitchens a modern, trendy look.
This article appeared in The Tribune on 4th Oct, 2015