alento is a project about food and relationships established around the table.
Right now, most of us are at home.
While attempting to navigate the uncertainty of the future, time seems both infinite and suffocating. We try to exert some form of control in our days: setting the alarm, having breakfast without the rush to leave the house, maybe embarking on a fitness journey, or simply having total control over the remote. Endlessness of both time and worry.
Then comes food: a necessity turned into a pleasure, a refuge per se. Social media posts show people returning to old recipes, cooking projects that were once postponed. However, this is not a pretty, Instagram-worthy picture. This is you and me and all of us locked inside our homes, trying to soothe our anxieties and fears through food. Trying to calm our nerves, to stop counting the illnesses of our loved ones, to stop scrolling our phones. This is us trying to find solace, and solitude, in food.
Now that social distancing is the norm, we look at new ways to connect and foster comfort. We are now reshaping the traditions of gathering around food, embracing the physical distance while relying on the phone to have friends and family over for dinner. Cooking is not the end goal now, it is not only made of ingredients, it is made of hope, of escapism.
Amazed by how complex the story behind a warm plate of food can be, we asked friends, acquaintances and people online for a recipe they’ve been cooking these days. A recipe that would transport them into idler times, to a moment they cherish, to a story when a particular dish first appeared in their lives. We invite you to cook these dishes too, to create a memory hopefully worth keeping.
Nowadays, ordinariness is its own reward, the most desired one.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
My Mum’s kind of scones