Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

23 September 2008

Thoughts on "foodie culture"

"Foodie culture": When you hear the words "foodie culture", what comes to your mind? A whole lot of posh restaurants? Celebrity chefs serving cuisine from different parts of the world? A city of connoisseurs of all things edible? Elaborate multi-course meals from far-flung corners of India? Specialty eateries which turn out "authentic" dishes? Columns in newspapers extolling the virtues of one eatery and slamming another for culinary sins? Elaborate records and long discussions on local cuisine in learned journals, local papers, coffee-table books? Or just diabetes, obesity and heart disease?
A city's foodie culture embraces all of the above. But above all is that most vital component: the men and women who live to eat! Serious foodies will tell you of their attempts to attune their pleasure receptors to the joys of vegetables and other such hearty stuff; but then you won't find them passing up the detrimental, the unwholesome, the non-nutrient stuff either! To be a foodie you need to strike a balance between your desire to eat healthy an your enjoyment of truly good food which may be fairly rich in calorific value!
In other words, combine an epicure's appreciation of skillful cooking along with a glutton's bottomless-pit approach to food. Among a certain slice of the food-possessed, to suggest that indulgence might put one’s health in peril is to invite ridicule.
Another vital requisite for being a foodie is deep pockets. When your kitchen reaches a plateau of culinary exploration, you should have the ability to dig deep into your monthly take-home, add novelty, shake up things and bring back the fun by heading off to your favourite eatery.
Last, but not the least, you should be able to pontificate about food as much as ( if not more than!) eating it. You should be able to use suggestive adjectives such as succulent, mouth-watering, tantalizing, tender, juicy, and melt-in-your-mouth. This will tell those around you that you define yourself by what you eat and where you eat it. The risk you run is that, on meeting another foodie, the conversation may turn into a sort of "mine is bigger than yours" affair. Which is all good if, pardon the bad pun, you are dishing it out, but not if you are on the receiving end. Those around you may think you're a pompous ass for discussing the provenance of the peas or the genesis of cottage cheese! I remember a programme where the svelte Padma Lakshmi interviewed a grizzly Hyderabadi chef. She asked him about the secret to his fabled biryani. The old man said something revelatory: "I don't talk about it," he said. "It's just what I make."
I started this post with the intention of discussing the foodie culture of Shimla. In a nutshell, I'll say I am yet to find any in my beloved adoptive home-town. So, I now rest my case with a plate of the ubiquitous daal makhani and mutter pulao!

1 comment:

Ann said...

If you see this comment, please pop over to my blog and pick up your award. Best wishes, Ann.

Related Posts with Thumbnails