I could talk about elaborating a menu for 20 or 30 people, about how to do it respecting intolerances and different diet choices. But this post is not going to be about that, as interesting as it is. Because yes, cooking is nutrition. It is a science. It is a discipline. It is a pending subject for many and an absolute necessity for others. It is all that and much, much more.
When we talk about cooking, the first thing that probably comes to our mind is that hateful thought: “God, no, I have to decide what I’m going to eat again”. Or maybe we think of our favorite dish, or that meal from grandma, or that particular smell that makes us feel like we’re back home again….
It really is incredible how many things such an essential activity can bring us. An action that has been relegated to second, third or fourth place over time, that has become a routine, or even a tedious practical and mental exercise. Thinking about what to eat, that is good, healthy, nutritious, satiating, different, tasty… preparing it, cooking it and ready to be consumed in less than 20 minutes. Even if it has taken us 3 or more hours of our valuable time to prepare it, why do we keep on cooking then? Why do we put so much desire, effort, sweat and time into it…? Every time I saw my grandmother spend entire mornings in the kitchen, I wondered. But now, over the years, I think I’m beginning to understand. It’s not just for the taste, for the nice, warm feeling inside us, it’s not just because it’s the main fuel for our body. No.
Sometimes, it’s not even about the food, it’s not even about the process, it’s not even about the time… it’s simply about the coming together. The coming together.
Because more often than we think, food really is a place, a coordinate point in space, an abstract, sensitive, shared idea, a collective thought guided by an individual hand. To cook is to feed the soul, but no doubt in cooking, we also feed society.
It doesn’t really matter too much where in the world we are, because we will soon realize that one of the common meeting places in any society is the kitchen, a table, or any place shared around some food. Food. Really to me that’s what it means. It means togetherness. Gathering. Community.
When you meet friends, you usually go to dinner. With family, lunch. With strangers, to the bar. No matter the plan. Food is the perfect excuse, the key ingredient, the key that gives you access to others, to society, to customs, to forbidden lives. Food unites us, identifies us, perpetrates us, accentuates us, defines us, but also… makes us want to share that incredible feeling with others.
Maybe that is why it is so pleasing to cook here, for a whole community. And to be able to share the table, the food, and the bread. Because we are not only sharing food, we are sharing ourselves and each other.

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