The Ingredient that binds us

From Haggis to Hangikjöt, Naan to Noodles, Pizza to Pavlova and Kofta to Kung Pao Chicken…

As well as providing us with nourishment, nutrients and energy, food, it’s been said, is the ingredient that binds us together. Dining with friends or family brings us company, conversation, debate and, often, laughter. Certain tastes can trigger memories – both good and bad. A favourite dish may take us back to our childhood or, in some cases, a home country we may have left as a migrant or refugee.

Food often provides us with comfort; we might reach for the chocolate when we feel stressed or call for a pizza after a busy day.

Food to a large extent is what holds a society together and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.”  Peter Farb and George Armelagos

Today, many of us are able to eat food from different countries. Here in the UK, pasta and noodles make a favourite family meal and dishes such as Lasagne, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chilli Con Carne and Stir Fries are as popular at the dinner table as the traditional Sunday Roast, Fish & Chips or Ploughman’s lunch.

But while our diets are changing to become more “exotic”, western foods are also becoming popular across Asia and the Middle East. In India, children recently drew for us their favourite things which, for some, included KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, cupcakes and ice cream.

Whether we sit on the floor, at a table or with a plate perched on our laps while we watch TV, the way we eat often follows culture and lifestyle. Tradition also often determines the tools we use to eat: cutlery, chopsticks or hands.

“For the millions of us who live glued to computer keyboards at work and TV monitors at home, food may be more than entertainment. It may be the only sensual experience left.” – Barbara Ehrenreich

Food is a storyteller and we believe it could also be a way of teaching other about our countries, cultures and religions; a way of breaking down prejudices. With this in mind, Postcards For Peace is seeking to collect recipes from supporters around the world which we hope to publish in a book to raise funds for our charity.

Please send us your recipes – they could be savoury or sweet, main dishes or snacks. They should be traditional to your country or culture. They could remind you of your childhood or a particular person or they may hold significant memory for you. As well as the ingredients and cooking method, each recipe should be accompanied by a background story that tells us why that food is so special to you. If you can send us pictures of you cooking or eating the meal, these may also accompany the recipe in the book. A picture of the final dish would be useful (so that we can see how it is supposed to look), though we will aim to get professional pictures of the final dishes for the actual book.

Please email us your recipes or questions HERE

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard