Good Food Guide

  • Ankur Mithal
  • India
  • Apr 10, 2015

As soon as I started reading the morning paper my stomach started growling. Straining my olfactory senses to understand the reason for this insouciance and not finding any, I picked up the morning paper once again. However, I soon discovered the reason for the grumbling. On the last page, which is where I start and gradually work my way towards the murders, rapes, political somersaults and bombings on the front page, was a small item about a popular Mediterranean restaurant that was celebrating a Nepolitano pizza festival. My stomach had apparently reached the item before my eyes had! Now, we all global folk by now know that most ‘proper names’ with an ‘o’ sound at the end must be Italian. What? Haven’t you heard of Al Pacino or Robert De Niro? Haven’t you seen ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’? Anyway, back to the paper. The Nepolitano festival promised to be a culinary delight, offering authentic Italian recipes and the freshest ingredients. This restaurant was worth a visit, I promised myself. Call me fussy it you will, and you may put it down to my banking days when I spent many years double-checking small transactions while missing out the big ones, but I always do a thorough verification before I commit myself. I looked up the Oxford dictionary…online of course…and there it was. Neapolitaine. That calmed me down; it confirmed that the cuisine on offer was authentic. How did I know? Because I know that no self-respecting Italian can (or wants to) spell English well. Since it was spelt incorrectly – Nepolitano, not Neapolitaine - the cuisine must be authentic. I made my way to the ‘authentic Italian’ restaurant. To make it as authentically Italian as it could get, I had pre-decided what I was going to order. I would go for leg of lambo and dal makhnio with naano. Eat your heartso out folkso!u 

We Indians are fussy eaters. We enjoy a variety of cuisines from around the world but they must be cooked with ‘garam masala’ and ‘haldi’, softened in a mix of onions and tomatoes and cooked in vegetable or mustard oil. Importantly, we know an ‘authentic’ cuisine when we see one. However, cuisine today is increasingly becoming uni-dimensionally authentic. It is now touted as authentic Andhra coastal cuisine, Hyderabadi ‘biryani’ or Gujarati ‘thali’. What next? An authentic ‘khichri’ of authentic cuisines?


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