We had an orchard when I grew up, and I still love apples. For the Bistro night last week I cooked a Pompe au Pommes (apple pie) from ‘Floyd on France’ and it reminded me of how the simplest of recipes are usually the best. The ingredients were: flour, butter, salt, apples and sugar. The hint of salt in the perfectly crunchy shortcrust worked fantastic with the smooth apples which had just the right sweetness.
Only 5 ingredients working together in perfect harmony.
There is something very reassuring about being able to produce something so nice out of the simplest of ingredients. You can almost invision a French peasant wife baking this apple pie in her Normandy kitchen in the beginning of the 20th century. It is a traditional recipe, embedded in daily life, connected to the land and for me, in that way, to the essence of life.
Food like this you find all over the world. Korea is this week’s theme in Oren. When I travelled there in 2007 I discovered that Bibimbap -mixed rice- is the national dish. Another example of the perfect combination of simple ingredients. Rice as the smooth operator, with a velvet runny fried egg, uplifted by hot chilli paste and crunchy vegetables.
Yes, comfort in a bowl. The first time I had it I was not impressed, thought it was too simple. But then when I had it again I realised it fed me, and not only in a nutritional way.
With the modern accents on diets, allergies an the appearance of food, we can almost forget the most important thing. That it should feed body and soul.