Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Food for thought

The one time when I realized that I do not have an iron stomach was when prawns caused me to puff up. The my juniors were being placed for their summer internships, and I had went to partake a meal offered by a company for my help to run their process smoothly. Never mind that they are on the other side of the fence now.

Being a mallu brought up on everything that lives on water, I did not think twice about eating as many shrimps as I can. However, that night I woke up from my sleep feeling choked. My entire body ballooned up, my oxygen supply was cut off. Just like that, my love story with prawns came to an end.

You win some, you lose some. Jamshedpur also exposed me to my first taste of olives. Pickled olives; to be more precise. I love both the black and green ones. Ironically, I started loving olives as they reminded me of the ten-for-50-paise packs of pickled wild berries which used to entice me on my way back from school.

Caviar was very much looked forward to - as I was brought up on regular encounters with cod liver oil and fish eggs from childhood, I did not have any enemity towards it. Also, the umpteen English short stories that I read from childhood made me realize that caviar was it. So when I had the chance, I had it with gusto, much to the awe and disgust ( in equal parts ) of my friends.

Paani puri will always have South Indian memories associated with them. It was a Tam who has introduced me to them, converting them to lunch from the lowly status of a snack. I was beyond my impressionable years; but Macchan gulping down one after another as if there is no tomorrow made me want them. Years later, I have not yet converted them to lunch, but hey; they are good for dinner.

Corn on the cob was another western dream. I don't really remember the first time I enjoyed it, but it is an all-time favorite now. Its cousin pop-corn - now him I loved so much that my early years at the movie theater was not complete without a few packs of the same. Movies, for a long long time, were incidental images which provided an occasion for me to eat popcorn. At the age when some kid learn that there is no Santa, I learned that you can buy pop corn from places other than movie halls.

Candy floss was a guilty pleasure as it was deemed everything bad. All the more reason for it to hold special significance for me - the first time I bought it without hiding it from the powers that be was when I was living away from home, and earning on my own. Freedom tastes sweet, with a hint of artificial colors.

However, there is always one western food I never took a shine to. An unexpected windfall through a competition gave me some serious money. Not so subtle hints from my mother dictated that I take my cousin out for lunch. She - my mother, not my cousin - wanted to go to one of the better places in town. They had just introduced burgers, the first in town. When my mother and me - two of the sincerest wannabes ever born - tucked into the burger, my cousin; all of four years pronounced " This is just a cutlet between two pieces of bun!"

That wisdom of four years was lost and he is not an addict of the same cutlet between buns. However, whenever I see a hamburger, before I can salivate at it, a little boy tells me with incredulous, aint-you-fools-to-fall-for-it eyes:

"Its just a cutlet between buns."

Bon Appetite!!!

1 comment:

Prats said...


Will comment later me going to have some Pani puri.... :-p