Cooking Mama's house is in Gensokyo.Think about it. Mama's godlike skill at cooking couldn't possibly be achieved by a mortal, and the activities you undertake are about as close to Full-Contact Magic as cooking can get. Further, the Kawaisa nature of the character designs and imagery fits in rather nicely with Gensokyo.
Cooking Mama is...
Cooking Mama will kill you if you do not learn.This troper once decided to see what it would be like if he intentionally failed a recipe... It was almost scary. She could easily be that crazy.
Cooking Mama has a fuckton of kids.Why else would she need to make that much food?
Mama is a cannibal.She chains up innocent people in her basement, Force Feeding them until she's fattened them up to edibility and then using them in her recipes.
Mama is just a bitch.Why else would she needlessly complicate so many aspects of cooking? Hell, in 3, she throws BONES at you while you're trying to put things on a skewer.
Mama is depressed and having a mental breakdown.We see no "Papa" anywhere even though she mentions him a few times; he is a figment of her delusional, craving mind. She cooks because it combats her sadness and it's the only thing she thinks she can do right. She wants to share her wisdom with you, just in case she dies. You are the thing that brightens her life and keeps her from breaking down. She has a few disorders which causes her to breakdown and overreact over little things. She refuses to let you leave (which you should once you learn everything from her). So she continues to teach you new recipes, showers you with more gifts, and even brings you some friends. Once she was out of ideas, she decided to pick up gardening and teach you that, making up some excuse about it and cooking or making you pity her.
The story behind Cooking MamaSo I never understood the storyline behind Cooking Mama, but I think I've finally figured it out. Some insane bitch has kidnapped you, and to get out you have to be able to cook every item in her cook book perfectly. The sequels are either Mama kidnapping you again, or star different protagonists she's kidnapped after buying a longer cook book.
Flo from the Dinertown Series is her daughter.Self-explanatory. Flo even hit the big time after Mama became famous - coincidence?
Why Cooking Mama's face is on all of her appliancesCooking Mama is a world-class chef and the head of her own cookware empire (think Martha Stewart). Perhaps she even has a TV show somewhere. But more importantly, you, as her child, are expected to inherit the empire, whether you want to or not. Hence her incredible pleasure at your success and her insane, fire-eyed anger when you fail. This also explains why (in CM:WK) when you drop the meat you have to practically scream her name to get her help (she purposefully ignores you to help you learn). Her ridiculous methods also have a place in this theory: they're part of the shtick of her cooking show.
Mama is an eccentric but friendly mother who is very good at Home Economics and gives classes to friends.With the universal belief she is in some way deranged or evil, this seems pretty damn crazy.
Mama is terminally ill.At some point, she contracted a disease that will kill her within a few years, if she's lucky. She calls upon you, a person she's chosen as her apprentice, to learn all her recipes. Why must you make them perfectly? So she knows her legacy will be ensured before she dies.