Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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India’s Global Tummy



Gone are the days of aloo puri and chhole kulche, it’s the time for Burmese khao suey, Japanese sushi, Spanish tapas or French macaroons!!!

Supercharged by globalization, the Indian food industry is practically hurtling at the speed of light towards a global food palette, and is leaving no stone unturned to open up restaurants, cafés or bistros, offering novel cuisines, and a completely new perspective to food that was so far alien to Indians.

What makes this phenomenon more successful is that people, especially the youth, these days are game to tasting new dishes and experimenting with flavours and techniques- something that would not have been witnessed maybe 20 years ago. What is even better, is that we no longer look at the so called ‘baahar ka khaana’ with a jaundiced eye, and automatically label it
as junk food. To quote Atul Singh, President, CEO, Coca-Cola (Indian and South West) and President, NRAI,
“The good news is that the food services industry is set to grow for many years to come, given the rising disposable incomes, a greater population of younger people, the growth of consumers in smaller towns and the widening exposure to new cultures and cuisines besides an increased propensity of eating outside the home,” (sic)
This quote provides ample proof that this ‘food revolution’ is not only limited to the shining cities and metros, but is also jazzing up the smaller towns. In fact why should it be limited even to restaurants in small towns? In a world, where every Tom, Dick and Harry makes instant pasta and coffee, cooking bouillabaisse and au-gratin seems to be the next step to achieve culinary success at the home-kitchen level!!

New Indian establishments offering cuisines from around the world such as Mamagoto, The Yum Yum Tree, Diva, Latitude, Aurus, Grasshopper, Caperberry, Chez Nini, (the list goes on and on)… as well as many existing foreign establishments like Starbucks, Häagen-Dazs, and Dunkin Donuts have taken Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other metros by storm, and are luring people into eating out more frequently, as well as providing them with various food options to choose from. Eg: Even the most basic KFC is offering everything right from chicken wings to burgers to rolls to meals in bowls and what not!!!!!

Unfortunately though, unlike U.S.A, India still hasn’t really come to accept the concept of international cuisines as street food, and our street food is sadly limited only to bhel puris, paani puris and other variety of puris :P, oily chholas, and whacky ‘Indianised’ versions of Chinese food (chilly panner anyone?) However, there is still hope as Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we will soon accept this trend too!!

As George Bernard Shaw said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food”, and so we should continue to eat and love all the new cuisines that come our way, because life is too short and there is a lot to eat. So eat on!!


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