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Fire, Water, Air, Earth

April 27, 2016 14 comments

Fire, Water, Air, Earth. Four basic elements, which uphold humankind. Literally and figuratively.

“When we learned to cook, we became fully human”.

When it comes to social media, which at this point we learned we can’t live without, the typical experience may be best expressed with one word – bombardment. During the day (more often than not, even during the night, so we might as well speak about 24 hours) we are bombarded with [probably] thousands of snippets, bit and pieces of “important” (can you imagine: mere 12 years ago, there was no social media as we know it – horror!) information  – read this, watch that, listen to this. It is amazing that our brain can extract any interesting information while been under such a constant attack.

Talking about interesting – few weeks ago, I came across (don’t ask me where and how, the brain will not give up its secrets) a little article (I think) which also pointed to the video. The video happened to be a trailer for Cooked, the original Netflix documentary:

Two minutes of the trailer was enough for me to say I. Must. Watch it. Note that in general, I’m not a big fan of documentaries. But this trailer promised the movie done so well that I literally wanted to drop everything I was doing and start watching it.

I managed to contain myself until the evening. I also avoided binge watching (despite strong desire), and extended the pleasure over a few evenings.

Cooked is a documentary consisting of 4 episodes, called Fire, Water, Air and Earth, where award-winning author, Michael Pollan, looks at the history of cooking, what it means to humankind, and where it is today. Each episode is dedicated to one of the basic cooking elements – what we cook with fire, which was historically the very first cooking method; how water changes the way we cook; where do you see air come to play (spoiler alert: this episode is mostly about the bread), and then the earth, which is all about fermentation – did you know that about 30% of the food we eat every day is fermented? By the way, a mini quiz for you  – do you know how chocolate is related to fermentation?

This series is all about honest, get back to your roots cooking. It is also about respect. Respect to the people, respect to the food we eat and its basic ingredients, whether it is meat, grains, cheese or anything else (gluten included – watch Nathan Myhrvold talk about science of gluten). Photography is incredible, with stunning images, and the whole series is just something you want to watch. And then watch again, as it really appeals to your very basic senses.

I don’t want to tell you anything else about the movie, except to [strongly] suggest that you should to go and watch it. Find a comfy spot, pour yourself a glass of wine, and indulge in something which is masterfully done, beautiful and thought provoking. And then may be dig up some of your mom’s recipes – and get cooking.

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