Cooking itself is an entirely sensory pursuit. Certain aromas and tastes can feel so nostalgic, a true Proustian madeleine that transports us back to those food-filled moments.
And so you can’t really separate the kitchen from touch. Kneading dough with your hands. Peeling root vegetables ready to roast. Untangling strands of fresh pasta or running your hands through a bowl of rice soaking in cold water. Cooking is the most democratic way of being a ‘maker’ of some sort. You don’t need to know how to turn a lathe or pinch a pot: anyone can use their hands to create the simplest of dishes.
Tomatoes on toast require little other than some sliced bread, a slick of mayonnaise (but bonus points for making it yourself), thick rounds of fridge-cold tomatoes, and a flurry of flaky salt pinched from high above. A spicy salad feels like rinsing slippery noodles and spooning chilli oil all over with a few fresh snips of spring onion.
The very nature of food is tactile, but as kitchen tools have evolved, so are the things we use to cook. It’s a double-edged knife, if you will: holding something that’s been handmade by someone else, and using it to interact with the food in front of you. Very meta.
It’s not just the ingredients or the produce that makes cooking so great; it’s the objects we use that enhance the experience itself. At Kalinko, we see these objects as something to celebrate. A knife gifted by a friend or the pot passed down through generations. The wooden spoon that makes that sauce taste better because it feels so good to hold in your hand. The weight of a pestle and mortar that makes grinding spices a joy. The stool you stand on to reach a dish or a new box of salt.
These are the tactile tools that have been adapted over centuries, that allow us to cut, chop, pour, slice, grind, spread and spoon. Things crafted by our makers in Burma. Storied objects, that continue to narrate our moments in the kitchen. All the good things in life.