“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child
I don’t have a romantic story about how I came to find myself in food.
But you’re a writer, Afsha. Look deep into the recesses of your soul and pull out a memory. Something delicious, nostalgic, epiphanic…
Truth is, growing up, I never really thought about where my food came from. If I am to be perfectly honest, I didn’t even like it very much.
Food had always been a chore, a mandatory break three times a day from things I truly loved such as my bicycle, free play and television. I must have been the fussiest eater on the block and no one suffered my food tantrums more than my dear old Mum.
I went vegetarian for most of my childhood. I refused to eat tomatoes if I could see them in my food. I hated okra with a vengeance and believed that every crate of radish deserved to be burned before it reached the market.
But then, over time, things started to change. Not only did I discover that tomatoes weren’t the enemy, I also realised that I enjoyed eating them raw as afternoon snacks at work. Okra went from being enemy number one to the one vegetable I could not go a week without cooking. And radish, oh that juicy radish! Did you know that radishes, sliced thin and picked in a jar of vinegar in the fridge is probably the most mouth-watering accompaniments to barbequed meat?
Yes. I started off being one of the most difficult eaters there is. You probably know the type. You were perhaps like me once, or have a child that’s giving you hell on the dining table right now.
There are several incidents that took my love for food from a cold, cordial acquaintance, to a beautiful relationship that’s going to last a lifetime.
But I don’t need to look into the deepest recesses of my soul to tell you how this metamorphosis came to be. All I know is that it happened in my late 20s, when I started writing about food from a journalistic perspective. From food features writer and restaurant reviewer at The Indian Express, Mumbai to freelance food writer and blogger for several specialised publications, my food journey – perhaps ‘evolution’ is a better word – has been a very interesting one.
And it all started when I realised that “Good Food” was actually synonymous with “Food That’s Good for You”. This means good ingredients, fresh, local vegetables, ethically and sustainably sourced meat, poultry and seafood, and of course, the desire to bring all of these together in a delicious meal at the hearth.
By means of The Good Foodist, a weekly column for Healthy Buddha, I will be writing about my journey into good food that’s also good for you. Expect to read stories, meditations and musings, paired with delicious recipes and ideas. Through this column, I will be aiming to make the idea of good food more accessible to everyone and start dialogues on why we need to care about where our food comes from and what we put into our stomach.
I hope you will join this wonderful journey with adventures and stories of your own. But more importantly, I hope you will find a delicious, weekly dose of perspective to take back and apply in your own kitchen and in consequence, your life.
A version of this column also appeared on Healthy Buddha‘s e-magazine on June 2, 2016.