Monday, November 07, 2005

pickles of mass destruction

One thing I've learned this year, you won't get the best eating if you are only in a country for four days and don't know anyone there. Happened the first time in Toulouse, and again in Delhi.

I ate only the lunches they gave us at the conference (Indian food, and tasty, but nothing fancy and clearly toned way down for us). There were a couple of fancier meals at The Spice Route in the Hotel Imperial. The decor was incredible, but the photo didn't come out. Imagine yourself in deep inside a ship built to carry a Sultan and his court around the world. The menu mixed Thai dishes with dishes from Kerala (nearly as far from Delhi as Thailand is!) Although this was called one of the greatest restaurants in Asia, I found the Thai dishes quite ordinary, but the Kerala dishes were very interesting. The best dish I got was an extra appetizer which wasn't listed on the tasting menu we ordered one night: small pieces of shrimp or squid (not sure which, but very tender) breaded and in a very complex red sauce, with little curry leaves. I was disappointed while visiting a spice and tea shop to find out that these are only used fresh, so you're pretty much out of luck if you don't have a tree.

The other thing I found, even at the conference lunches and the touristy restaurant in Agra that our guide took us to, is that paneer is much more tasty in India. It had a really strong, fresh, creamy dairy flavor. When I have it in Indian restaurants here, it seems like it might as well be tofu. That was a nice experience.

One of the most interesting food-related sightings was in the airport on the way home. Click on the picture to magnify and look at the lower right.

And any other items that resemble or have similar functions to the above items!

And yes, sights were seen.


At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Mams said...

In reference to pickles on planes: Remember the time you smelled up a plane with a selection of kim chee? Remember the time your father smelled up a plane with a broken bottle of balsamic vinegar? That sign is there in case any Smiths come through! ;-)

In reference to Indian pickles: I had a novel called "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy in which pickles played a role. I can't find it now. Did I leave it with you when I visited on Indian (!) Rock Road?

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

going green again... what a great place to visit!! ;)


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