Are you a cook or a baker?

How do you handle yourself in the kitchen? Do you love to bake?

Or do you prefer to cook?

Most people prefer to eat either savoury food or sweet. Which is your preference?

 

When people cook they tend to prefer to make savoury food or sweet. I think this may be to do with taste preferences and whether you are a salt or sugar person.

It could also be to do with family dynamics. My Mum and Dad are both cooks (although Mum can bake beautifully!) and my brother went into the trade learning his craft at the Savoy Hotel in London. My husband comes from a family of bakers. For me the lines are a bit blurred.  I enjoy all aspects of both. I have read that there are some personality traits involved, that cooks tend to be more experimental and bakers more precise. I think this is true but you can be both can you not?

My husband’s baker’s eye is so keen he can spot if a dough is too slack or too wet from a distance. The same is true for whether a cake is perfectly baked or not.

In professional realms the division is more formally carried over. Restaurant kitchens are divided between the domains of the chef and the pastry chef. And the bakery is something else entirely! But perhaps we are moving back to the way things were in the Middle Ages, before the invention of courses, when there was no distinction made between savoury and sweet dishes.

So now a choice? Cook or baker?

For me, the choice is clear. I enjoy preparing savoury foods, but really, nothing compares to the sense of joy and peace I have when I’m in my kitchen, up to my elbows in flour, kneading and rolling and mixing up something sweet.

All of my earliest food memories involve sweets: My grandmother’s Raspberry trifle, my Mum’s chocolate soufflé, the most popular barfi (Indian Sweet dishes) made from condensed milk solids, sugar, butter and milk powder that we bought in the Indian markets in downtown Nairobi which were a highlight of every trip to the city. It was these early encounters with desserts that stretched my imagination and made me want to get into the kitchen myself.

Are you a cook or a baker?

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