I’ve signed up to do a 5-minute presentation on something foody for a group of acquaintances. The people range from vegan to complete carnivore and everything in-between. Some folks care about food, some eat only for sustenance. 5 minutes is not a lot of time.
I can wax poetic about many different food topics for much longer than 5 minutes, but what I’m trying to find is a topic that 1) can be explored in a short amount of time and 2) will appeal to a wide variety of people. Some ideas:
How to make a quick-but-good vinegarette
How to properly season with salt & acid
How to make a really good cocktail (this is a no-brainer for me, but I’m hesitant as there are a number of non-drinkers.)
I’m not thrilled about any of these ideas, but all would work. What else? What do you want to know about food/cooking?
One of the best things I have ever heard about food came from a local celebrity chef who stopped by a garage sale I was holding.
He explained to me how different cultures take different approaches to creating complexity in cuisine. France, for example, draw on lots of complex base ingredients- things like stocks and wine. These naturally create complexity even with some recipes.
Vietnamese cuisine (his speciality) uses simple ingredients that hit all of the basic flavors- sweet, sour, salty and savory. So you may have sugar, vinegar and fish sauce in one dish. The trick is to get all of the notes.
Americans are big on texture, and we will sacrifice taste to get it. China appreciates texture even more, but they have a wider appreciation for chewy and slippery textures. Indian food, on the other hand, privileges taste above texture.
Anyway, something like this would require some research, but is a fascinating way to look at things.
Another option, if you have time, is to try an experiment. Try fasting, or drinking Soylent, or eating like a pre-schooler, or eating all of your meals in reverse order. Whatever. Then report put your results, interweaving some of the history of whatever subject you are talking about in to your narrative.
I think seasoning would be a good topic since it’s basic and universal in that it applies to anyone who prepares and eats food. But why limit it to only salt and acid? Add in herbs and spices to give it a wider scope and give it a little health twist by offering options to those watching their sodium intake.
An easy, one pot, yummy, vegetarian meal to feed your family one night a week. Just slide it right in there. Getting people to toy with a vegetarian diet, and eat meat one less time a week. A positive for everyone’s health, a positive for the family budget, a positive for open mindedness toward vegetarianism/vegetarians in general, and one less animal slaughtered.
If it’s easy, and it’s yummy, it’s one small thing every family could do. Everybody might not do it, but it will make everyone think, I’d wager!