By Marcos Cortés Carrasquillo “Chef Carrasco”
In this discussion forum I will talk about what gastronomy embody, the importance of gastronomy in our life, and at the end I will put into perspective the following topic: I will introduce a brief story about fast food restaurants, and the role of fast food in the industry overall. In Puerto Rico we have a vast conjunction of gastronomy. Puerto Rican’s gastronomy embody other cultures as well such as Cuban, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Chinese, and especially from Spain. Our culture is complete in terms of gastronomy. Puerto Ricans made the longest journey in the world, from Africa crossing through Asia and arriving to the island of Puerto Rico, imagine you what kind of gastronomy we have.
Like any other art in the world, the principles of great cookery demands a lot of attention, taste, creativity, appreciation of beauty, elegance, and complete knowledge of different cooking techniques. Gastronomy is a science and strains real knowledge and comprehension of cooking fundamentals. Gastronomy is a complete study from a different perspective of live. The science of gastronomy embody diverse studies from food to its own relationship within our own culture, other social cultures, real society, economy, religion, and nature (on cooking, 2007).
Today, thanks to the many Chefs such as Marie- Antonin Caréme (1783-1833), who elaborate menus and meals consisting of multiples courses well-crafted, presented, garnished, and different sauced. Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) who refined the Grande Cuisine of Caréme in order to create Cuisine Classique and to bring French cuisine into the 20th century. And Gaston Lenotre (1920-2009) who was the pioneer in mass production of baking goods. He mastered the technique of freezing and was considered the father of modern French pastry. These Chefs are example of what gastronomy embody, which is creation, development, commitment, and passion.
Gastronomy is important in order to understand the principles and creation of food. Where real food is coming from, grain, spices, and the development of unique cultural flavors. It is also important to understand the different chemical reaction whiting food and their respective applications techniques throughout the exercise of cooking. We have to know gastronomy in order to balance flavor, aromas, textures, garnishes, presentation in order to create appealing and desire for food. And most importantly to balance it out a complete meal that embody all essential nutrients that our body need, including the correct temperature for healing purposes as well.
The creation of fast food restaurant began since 19th century when the meat grinder gave rise to the hamburger. Then in 1890s Coca Cola introduce its beverage, and Los Angeles Times wrote about the hamburger. In 1919 A&W Root Beer was the first fast food chain with drive-ins, and in 1921 The White Castle opened the first hamburger chain. In 1930s Howard Johnson for the first time franchised the restaurant concept with standardizing menus. And in 1949 Richard & Maurice McDonald opened the first McDonald’s restaurant then Arby’s was created in 1949. During the year of 1951 Merriam-Webster dictionary recognized the term of fast food in its dictionary. Years later, many other famous fast food restaurant were also created until today (only info graphic, 2013).