How would you eat this dish? Would you start by eating the rice first, the squid or the pesto? Would you call it fusion, creative cuisine or a concept dish? Anyway we see it, it is a matter of perspective. So is the way we eat our food. If I had to define food in one word, I’d say food is culture. When it comes to food, our preferences – and our choices of what we eat and cook – are shaped by our cultural backgrounds. Food defines who we are and where we come from: Italians eat pasta, Mexicans eat tacos, Americans eat burgers, Chinese people eat dim sum, etc.
Today I went to the market near home to buy seafood for an appetizer I had to bring for tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner (Vigilia di Natale). According to Italian tradition, you eat seafood on Christmas Eve and meat on Christmas day. Since there is a lot of demand for fish on the 24th of December, you need to order seafood in advance. So I went to the market’s fishmonger and to my surprise they couldn’t find my order so they had to redo it (cleaning and preparing seafood included!!). That meant I had to wait for more than half an hour with little Ambrosina, who was hungry and crying!! To me this was the icing on the cake, or in Italian Christmas tone – as the picture portrays it – confectioners’ sugar on Pandoro (that is my daughter’s Xmas cap!).
Making this post was a tough call: not only because I did not have daylight on my side for food photography, but mostly because I was about to experience (probably) the best dining experience of my life – an evening with Massimo Bottura’s cuisine at Eataly Roma. Having said that, imagine my biggest food photography challenge combined with the pressure of having to photograph Massimo Bottura’s remarkable dishes.