Not everyone gave the mini-series a sterling review. Last month Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times felt that "...Michael Pollan is food-shaming us again..." and that "...you'll come away feeling mighty guilty about what you eat...." Well, I can honestly say this about that:
The second episode, "Water" was very interesting. I cook in pots a lot. Crockpot meals, braising in the oven, stews and soups. I quite agree with the notion that a fabulous stew or soup is more than the sum of its ingredients...that the final dish has morphed into something amazing and new. The episode took the viewer to India and I was educated about a culture and country about which I truly know very little. There was a bit of soapboxing about processed foods. But I agreed with it. When I was a child, growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, my mother made great use of canned, frozen and boxed foods. She loved the convenience. Me? I never liked the taste. When I grew up and had my own kitchen, no matter how much or little money was in my grocery budget, I tried [and still do] to buy fresh ingredients and cook.
I have no problem with the current craze of "professional" chefs and their cooking shows as you can see on Food Network. I enjoy them and get so many ideas. Especially "Chopped." After watching for a couple years I can now go to my fridge and panty, see disparate ingredients and yet combine them to create something tasty.
I enjoyed the segment about the cheese-making nun...much I simply did not know about how cheese becomes cheese. I also liked the segment about bread. See, I have always intuited that problems with gluten have become so bad because modern bread is mass produced from over-processed flour that has taken all the "good" out of the bread. I don't make my own, but I do buy a fantastically tasty and healthy bread by Dave's Killer Bread. My favorite variety is Good Seed.
Cooked is, in my estimation, worth the time to sit and watch. And, just as I have with Chef's Table, I'm going to watch it a second time.