There are many things unique about India. Amongst the chief elements is the variety of the food palette that can cater to every single pore on your tongue.
With the coming of the McDonalds, KFCs, Pizza stores and a variety of others the degree of standardization across the country is no joke! The walls are of the same hue. The uniforms are of the same colour. Even how they greet you is scripted. So much so, if you have been regular at a particular fast food chains outlet, you would exactly know what they are going to say next ! So much for ‘standardization of user experience’.
But ofcourse, you go to a junk food joint ( ok, fast food joint ) to fill the stomach. If there is an itch to satiate a travel bug, well, you eat only partly to fill stomach. The other portion is to soak up a culture and fill the soul.
Take for instance the Thali. The great Indian Thali, is different in different places. Its called the Thali and is an assortment of permutations and combinations of main courses and side dishes that will kick up an awesome taste that lasts far beyond the big burp at the end of the meal.
For instance, a Gujarati Thali is served in what seems like a necklace of small containers which sit inside a large plate, with some space for ghee laden rotis and rice are a part of Gujarati Thali.
The refills for every container will keep flowing endlessly.
I swear, I have wiped off every morsel much to the embarrassment of the missus and anyone else that eats alongside.
A trip down south to Tamil Nadu will get you a very different version of a Thali. On a banana leaf. All partitions need to be created by the one who eats.
‘When good food is gorged down, of what use is a partition’ ! That was a good friends mom, when, I asked her for a bowl to house my payasam !
The after effects can be good sidestory though. That warrants a separate blogpost.