One man’s bread is another man’s poison. So the saying goes. Here are some random thoughts on the subject.
I suppose cuisines develop and stabilize due to several factors. It could be said that recipes were originally created with grains and vegetables that were locally available. Here the climate plays a part. In
It is different in the North. For instance, in
One of the reasons for the absence of ‘English’ vegetables in the common cuisine then was non-availability. Those days they were cultivated in the cooler climates, such as that of the Nilgiri Hills. Once they became easily obtainable, people introduced them in their daily meals.
Cuisines are dynamic. People are always experimenting for improved or tastier dishes without flouting accepted parameters. Some succeed, but their creations are more often than not used for special occasions. The regular meals usually contain conventional food.
Sometimes we accept imported food ideas. The hamburger is an example of this. It was introduced in the
But among the two, it was the hamburger that conquered
Talking about adaptability, first we had the simple pancake dosa. Then came the masala dosa filled with potatoes and onions, and sometimes even carrot pieces. Indian Coffee House’s masala dosas have even beetroot. This was followed by cheese dosa, keema dosa, and so on. The Pai brothers of
Pizza too is a foreign conquest of
Adaptation is fine as long as it blends. But sometimes one comes across atrocities. The other day we bought a parcel of samosas from a famous Chennai eatery. On opening the packet we were shocked to find sachets of tomato sauce instead of the conventional chutney.
Perhaps some people like the combination. I don’t. May be tomorrow it would be idli with tomato ketchup. Who knows?
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