Sometimes unique ingredients can give a dish its signature and make the difference between a good dish and a great one.
This film holds a very special place in my heart, as I recognise a lot of the food and the family idiosyncrasies, even some of the accents, of my father’s family in it. My paternal grandparents were Greeks of Istanbul, fortunate enough to choose the time of their arrival to Athens. They brought with them all the traditions and recipes depicted in the film.
A generous table with an abundance of dishes prepared with love, imagination and skill was part of the cuisine and the culture. It would be unthinkable to welcome guests without a large selection of edible wonders.
Spice is mentioned a lot in the film. There is a lovely scene (see video) where the grandad teaches his grandson the shape of our universe using different spices.
Spice has the ability to transform a dish and often makes the difference between a good plate of food and an extraordinary one. It can add depth and complexity in the aroma and the flavour and leave consumers wondering what the magic taste is. The source and combination of spices and flavour extracts in a dish are often closely guarded secrets, whether it is a relative’s recipe, a chef’s or a big brand’s.
The supply chain director used to always tease me about all the “unique” flavours that my team would introduce into the factories. They complicated production. I could see his point, but more often that not this unique flavour was what gave a product its signature taste. As a developer you need to keep a fine balance between trying to keep the recipes you develop simple keeping new ingredients to a minimum and creating a signature taste and aroma.
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