Important question: is love an ingredient you can taste?

Can love be a secret ingredient?

42w ago

My maternal grandmother practically raised me. I was with her night and day, and I am not exaggerating when I say that all my culinary skills were given to me by her.

Eleonora, my grandmother, literally knew how to make risotto with everything. Potatoes, savoy cabbage, sausage, peas, beans, pumpkin.

She made me a dish that we called "pink risotto". It was simply a risotto made with meat broth to which he added a little tomato paste to give it the pink colour.

Now, it is assumed that at least such a simple risotto is easily replicable. But no. Ever since my grandmother passed away, I haven't eaten such a good risotto again.

Besides, my grandmother worked a lot, she was a good seamstress, so she cooked with one hand on the spoon and one on the scissors. Yet her risotto was heavenly.

My mother and I watched her prepare the risotto. Oil, onion, toasted rice with wine, we know the procedures for making all the various risottos. Sometimes we try.

But that's not the same thing.

On the other hand, I rarely saw my paternal grandmother. Nonna Alfonsina lived in the south, and we only saw each other during the summers, but I have vivid memories. She sat by the stove. She cared for food without ever taking her eyes off it. For her, cooking was not a burden, it was an art. Nonna Alfonsina made meatballs that were so good that they could make you cry. And since she's gone, none of us grandchildren has eaten those meatballs since.

Yet both my father and my aunts know precisely how to do it. They know how to follow the procedure, and they know the ingredients.

But that's not the same thing.

It always is as if a secret ingredient is missing. And so, after years, I convinced myself of one thing: the secret ingredient is love. It's not that we cook without love, but obviously, it's not enough. I think the love of a grandmother is unmatched, and perhaps it is there that the mystery is hidden.

And you? Can you feel the taste of love in the dishes you eat?

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Comments (11)

  • Yes, when you asked how to do it, the answer was a a smile and the list of the things you need. How much? You get a feeling, just try. And every time you try, it is not the same, something is missing. There are typical easy meals, but they don’t taste the same. It’s ok, but the last little spark is missing. I remember the same way.

      9 months ago
  • My grandma used to make me porcupine meatballs. They were so good. A few members of the family have tried but it never come close. My wonderful wife put in a lot of work and has come the closest. But it's still not grandmas. But when my wife makes it I go back to being a child again with the first bite.

      9 months ago
  • Yup, same here. Certain dishes prepared by my mother or my stepfather (who was Austrian, so he really knew how to prepare breaded chicken) are unforgettable but not reproducible. Sad but true 😢 However, my cheesecake is better than my mother's 😁

      9 months ago
    • eheheheh everyone has their own strong point 😜👍

        9 months ago
    • Oh well, this actually isn't my strong point at all 😁 The story is that my mother tried her whole life to make a good cheesecake but somehow it never worked out. She was an excellent cook otherwise but she never managed that one. Me, I just came...

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        9 months ago
  • Beautiful memory. It reminds me of my grandma's tuna casserole. My mother tried and tried to replicate it but never could even though knowing all the ingredients. It's just not the same and yes I do believe it's the love that goes in it.

      9 months ago
    • These are things that cannot be replicated... and I am particularly emotional in this period 🥺

        9 months ago
  • Love is an essential ingredient in all cooking. When my children are enjoying a tasty meal I ask them "why does it taste so good?", and they reply "because it's made with love".

      9 months ago