On Recipes…..Posted: July 1, 2010
I have always looked at recipes as a guide, not an absolute. So it puzzles me when some cooks go out of their way with their time and finances to get all the ingredients and special supplies just to make one recipe.
I always look at cooking as an extension of culture. Culture always grows out of a certain region, and those regions have certain foods in abundance. So that region’s cooking naturally uses those foods that are available.
When you make a recipe from a different region, the foods used are often not available, or if they are, they had to be brought in from far away, which makes the cost of making said recipe way too prohibitive. So this is where substitutions come in. I do agree that substitutions will not make the dish authentic and the taste will be different from the original dish. Personally, I’m not going for authentic at the sake of my pocketbook. Furthermore, when you use other ingredients to make a traditional dish from another region, you are essentially creating a new dish! You have just made your own recipe!
Don’t stress out if you can make a dish exactly as the recipe calls for because you don’t have something. Put your own spin on it with the foods that are readily and cheaply available to you.