Curry to Go, in a Big Way

Food tells migratory stories. Follow the banh mi long enough, for example, and you go from the bread of France to the gastronomic preferences of Vietnam to the lunchboxes of working-class people of all ethnic backgrounds in American cities. Thus: Leg three of a similar journey is taking place in India.

British chefs are taking British curries such as chicken tikka masala (inspired, of course, by Indian curries) back to India. Writes the BBC:

"Syed Bilal Ahmed, director of the Taste of Britain Curry Festival, says the British curry is 'healthier, has better ingredients, and is milder' than the Indian version."

Still, this is somewhat like trying to bring, say, a Brazilian spin on a cheesesteak to Philly. Regardless of how good the interpretation actually tastes, there's always that "preconceived notions" thing to work against.

"'I think people are so used to what they have eaten all their lives, to change it is almost a sin,'" said Shaun Kenworthy, a British-trained chef now based in Calcutta, speaking of the curry re-introduction challenge.

The BBC piece gets into some of the taste-testing, which is less harsh than one might expect, but still an entertaining reflection on East-meets-West-meets-East.

Image source: Flickr member Jerine under Creative Commons

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