TIME was when family meals were always gently and lovingly prepared by mom. Once in a while, some dads also try their hand in the kitchen, but cooking is generally associated with moms, so most of our childhood memories include sharing meals with the family and in the center of it all is mom. Such memories bring warmth and comfort to us as adults.
But times change, and with the fast-paced lifestyle that we now lead in this age of fast-food restaurants and convenience foods, lunches and dinners are now mostly harried affairs. It has become faster, easier and more convenient for us to stop by restaurants and take quick meals especially during working days. There’s nothing like a good, home-cooked meal shared with the family at home, but compromises have to be made, and while home cooking remains to be an important component of family life, home cooking is glaringly in a decline. New research even reveals that 80% of young people aged 23 to 27 do not and cannot cook and the 1,000 respondents surveyed mentioned that two of the reasons why they do not cook are lack of confidence and inadequate knowledge about recipes. Add to this the fact that most of them now work and its demands on their time doesn’t leave much time for cooking and other domestic chores.
“Home cooking is in a decline, but Knorr is fighting back here in the Philippines to inspire and help moms create the wonder of their flavor and build lifelong family bonds,” declares Oliver Sicam, Unilever’s marketing director for foods.
Knorr is determined to make mom-cooked meals matter again by inspiring people to cook more at home and by showing how mom-cooked flavors are the real key to the powerful bonds mothers yearn to build with their loved ones. To ensure that meals prepared by moms remain an integral part of home life so that strong family bonds continue to move the world forward, Knorr started a movement called Sarap ng #LutongNanay. The movement is backed by the latest scientific discoveries. Working with leaders in the field has confirmed that mom-cooked flavors help create memories which reach parts of the brain that other experiences cannot. The brain has a way of connecting memories with the wonderful flavors cooked by mom for her children, creating deeper and more vivid emotions than any other.
World-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Stuart Firestein, PhD, from New York’s Columbia University has been carrying out research into the wonder of mom-cooked flavors for many years.
To push the Sarap ng #LutongNanay movement forward, Knorr formally launched the campaign at the Blue Leaf Pavilion in McKinley Hill, Taguig, recently to bring back home-cooked meals and make them accessible to everyone. The program, hosted by Unilever’s own Apples Aberin, professional events host Christine Jacob and Knorr’s newest brand ambassador Carmina Villarroel, gathered four celebrity moms — TV host Pia Guanio, host and actress Dimples Romana, DJ Delamar Arias, and TV personality and chef Danica Sotto-Pingris — as LutongNanay mom-bassadors.
After their formal presentation on stage, they took to their own cooking stations and showed the audience how to cook four exciting Filipino dishes with a twist. Pia made Crispy Tofu Sisig, Dimples prepared Tinola sa Gata, Delamar assembled delightful Spicy Adobo Tacos, and Danica, the professional chef among the four of them, whipped up Sinigang sa Pakwan.
These four dishes are not only interesting and modern variants of Pinoy favorites. They’re also delicious and easy to prepare because they make use of Knorr mixes and seasonings. With recipes that are easy to follow and make use of readily available ingredients, Knorr is sure moms will be inspired to start cooking more at home and, thus, families will have more opportunities to bond over good home-cooked meals.
“It fascinates me how brain instinctively knows that certain flavors and foods have the power to mean more to us than just sustenance. This is called sensory recall and is a phenomenon which demonstrates how the brain is hard-wired to respond in certain ways to different tastes and smells. Even over time and distance, when we taste mom’s cooking, it transports us back to a special place and a unique memory,” Dr. Stuart Firestein ends.