Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the over-saturation of cooking shows available to watch? Flick through TV channels at any time of the day and you’ll be bombarded with words such as “a point” (pronounced ‘pwah‘) and “au poivre”, as well as the sound of sizzling oil; from Flimkien ma Nancy to Gourmet Today with Sean Gravina to the entire Food Network and everything in between.
If you’ve often wondered what more could possibly be said about cooking and recipes on TV, then you’re not alone. Watching food shows has become a part of our culture, as have the staple reactions from foodies, gluttons and haters alike. Here’s some of the most typical ones.
Maltese shows find every opportunity to use the ever so popular formula of audience-participation by setting aside some time for ‘Telefonati‘. This is when the public calls and asks the host whatever bullshit it is they can’t be arsed to find out on the internet.
If there’s anything worse than having to listen to annoying callers, it’s…nope, nothing worse than having to listen to annoying callers.
A: ‘Hellow. L-ewwel nett prosit tal-programm, kuljum insegwik!
B: Grazzi sinjura.
A: Ħa ngħidlek għax insejt t-tiġieġa barra fuq il-bejt u għandha d-dud issa. X’tissuġerixxi nagħmel?’
2. ‘Shichimi tōgarashi x’jaħbat?’
Chefs have a tendency to mention ingredients that only seasoned (get it?) cooks have heard of, leaving the rest of us wondering whether Fredu tal-ħaxix stocks it.
3. ‘Qas idurli maż-żokkra!’
The bite-sized dessert looks pretty, but is it worth the whole 45 minutes it takes to make for the two seconds it takes to eat it?
‘Mhux hekk nibqaw tgħid, niekol dak il-portion ta’ l-għasafar. Tlaqna l-buffet t-Topaz!’
4. ‘Da ħa jdum jitfa’ parsley biex taparsi jżejjen?’
What’s the deal with all the parsley? Historically, parsley has been used as a breath freshener as well as a funeral herb – the Romans were the first to use parsley as a garnish, and it has since become the biggest culinary cliché.
What to do if you’ve got loads of parsley hanging around your kitchen? Dump it all on a dish and instantly gourmet it.
5. ‘Jaq x’ikewwes’
There are a few shows that leave even us Maltese bewildered, if not slightly disgusted. American diner shows, for example, where everything is double-fried, then fried some more.
6. ‘Ejja itfa’ kollox fil-platt, ċass!’
Reality TV like Masterchef, Chopped and Hell’s Kitchen are as anxiety-inducing as it gets. The competition is cutthroat, time is extremely tight and judges are there to rip chefs apart. We get so involved, it’s like the World Cup qualifiers all over again.
‘Ħallik mill-qaħbeċ parsley! Baqagħlek minuta ċuċ!’
7. ‘Rajt xi ħaġa simili fuq ta’ Manuel’
Then there are the inevitable cross-food-show comparisons.
8. ‘Alla jbierek qas iħammġu meta jsajru’
They’ve prepared a four course meal and the kitchen is immaculate, whereas you peel a carrot and you’ve chopped your right arm off, and there’s fish oil all over the counter.
Love them or hate them, cooking shows are here to stay. So… stuff it.