As Indians our love for food surpasses all borders and biases; we love a good plate of noodles as much as we drool over a creamy baked pasta. If we had to choose our top pick, though, it would obviously be our very own Indian cuisine. We pride ourselves on the variety, the delicious blend of aromas and spices, the comfort of Indian curries, and an unending list of decadent desserts found in the country. Ours is a country of true-blue foodies and we like to carry that heritage with us wherever we go. Anyone trying to tell us otherwise would face immense resentment, and that is exactly what happened on Twitter recently.
Gene Weingarten, a columnist from the leading US daily - The Washington Post, wrote an article explaining his dislike for certain foods. In a particular point, he wrote that 'Indian food was the only ethnic cuisine based entirely on one spice'. And in a matter of minutes, all hell broke loose. The tweet garnered around 3.1K comments and 2.5K retweets and the numbers are still growing. Look at the tweet here:
Took a lot of blowback for my dislike of Indian food in today's column so tonight I went to Rasika, DC's best Indian restaurant. Food was beautifully prepared yet still swimming with the herbs & spices I most despise. I take nothing back. https://t.co/ZSR5SPcwMF— Gene Weingarten (@geneweingarten) August 23, 2021
Indian food enthusiasts from all over the world started bashing the writer for his biased opinions, so much so that he had to remove the particular sentence from the article itself. Indian actor and TV host Padma Lakshmi shared a picture of the original article and wrote about how racist and uniformed the writer was. Mindy Kaling, another famous TV personality with Indian roots was also disappointed by the authors outrageous disgust towards the cuisine.
You don't like a cuisine? Fine. But it's so weird to feel defiantly proud of not liking a cuisine. You can quietly not like something too— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) August 23, 2021
Indian born British-American Novelist and Essayist Salman Rushdie had a witty comeback to the writer and his knowledge about Indian food :
I just heard about @geneweingarten for the first time in my life. What he doesn't know about indian food would fill an encyclopedia. I plan never to hear about him again.— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) August 24, 2021
Take a look at some other tweets here :
“Curry” is not one spice. I don't even know how these people do their research.— Anand Giridharadas @ The.Ink (@AnandWrites) August 23, 2021
This is even dumber than people saying they don't like Indian food because they don't like “curry.” ???? A curry is a masala, which is a *combination* of spices. There are tons of masalas. Which one? ????????♀️— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) August 23, 2021
What was commendable to see is that people from all over the world stood high in defense of Indian food and pointed out that even the blandest of our curries use more than one spice.
One spice? Curry? I've made curry "spice" from scratch. Curries can include up to 30 different spices. And Indian food isn't just about one spice. He's clearly never had Daal, samosas, pakoras, aloo chole, saag paneer, ras malai, etc...— Board & Gray. I #Resisted (@ProgressiveGrae) August 24, 2021
and reducing the many, many, many different food traditions and regional cuisines of the Indian subcontinent to "curry"
that's like saying "if you like sausage, congratulations, you like European food. if you do not like sausage, you do not like European food."— ???? (@jessiemae) August 24, 2021
Twitter users listed out the variety of food the subcontinent had to offer and some even went ahead and gave us a peek of their Indian pantries and the wide range of spies that they had in store.
After the much-hated comments and constant correction by Indian food enthusiasts worldwide, the author had no choice but to come up with an apology tweet :
From start to finish plus the illo, the column was about what a whining infantile ignorant d---head I am. I should have named a single Indian dish, not the whole cuisine, & I do see how that broad-brush was insulting. Apologies.(Also, yes, curries are spice blends, not spices.)— Gene Weingarten (@geneweingarten) August 23, 2021
This just goes to show that Indian food is not only loved in the country, but it has a strong fan base worldwide. What are your thoughts on the writer's perspective? Let us know in the comments below.