In the 10,000 years of human evolution, only in last 25 years, we started making ‘exotic food’ at home sometimes using YouTube videos and indulging it now which is instantly available at a local restaurant.
Yesterday, my family and I dined out at a Pakka Punjabi Sardarji Ka Restuarant in Kochi, it is fully packed with people who have come to celebrate the Punjabi food, which is usually consumed in cold Punjab weather. And in Kerala, we now experience hot humid summer. Is that food actually suitable locally?
The food has transcended the barriers of its home origin only in recent times. My parents and forefathers never had such food made at home, unless they are influenced by their long stay in parts of North India. Should our food be the product of our local produce or a daily exotic experience? Only when Nestle started selling Maggi Noodles in India, we started getting a culinary glimpse of what Chinese food is about.
The food is part of our genetic memory. Our genes are shaped by local food. Are we disrupting it? The weather plays a bigger role.
In Kashmir, we would love garam garam naan (hot maida chappathis) and Mutton Rogan Josh in a 10-degree weather. We need it to keep our body warm. Imagine, having it in a hot sultry Vizag.
Are we exhausting our bodies with strange and exotic food, to play fireworks on our taste buds?
The biggest invasion of our dining tables is the invasion of foreign food. We would love to have a Mughal biriyani, Schezwan fried rice, Hong Kong Noodles, Tamil Sambhar, Andhra pickles, Masala Papad, Afghan Kebab, Punjabi Tadka, Kerala Beef Ularthiyathu, Bengali sweets and London Diary Ice Cream all in one table.
A casual swipe on Uber Eats and Swiggy will spoil you with the choice of what to eat in next 30 minutes. The choices are global, but locally delivered and consumed.
Food is influenced by weather, genetic make-up, work we do, stages of life and many more things. Now we break all food rules for excitement. We want food for fun.
Food is the stress buster for many. Indulgences matter than healthy choices. Cravings matter than hunger. We travel one hour to eat the food we love. Food has become our dopamine. Not exactly something we eat to keep out bodies healthy and strong. The thrill of ordering the most ‘happening food’ is more exciting than many things we do during the day. We click before we eat. And love letting the world know what we are going to eat. It is signaling. It is a mating call for like-minded foodies. Food bloggers write about food indulgingly like how a Filmfare writer talks about Deepika Padukone. A flavor of eroticism in food. The hashtag #FoodPorn shows where we are heading to. Good food is better than sex for many.
‘When a chef becomes a celebrity, the civilization is bound to decline.’ – Roman Saying.