Thursday, June 3, 2010

International Epicurean

It's been brought to my attention this past week that the past 27-3/4 years of my life have been void of something(s) wonderful. Thanks to our friends and neighbors, two new world cuisines have successfully been integrated into my repertoire of gastronomy.

It all started several years ago when I was living in Chicago. A group of us decided to be "adventurous" and went out for Indian food. To say the least, I was not impressed. And for the several years following the Indian-food-outing, it has been beyond my comprehension that people actually enjoyed the stuff. So when our friends Craig and Becky moved into the ward and raved about Indian food (Craig served a good part of his mission in Sri Lanka) I decided that perhaps I should give Indian cuisine another chance. It actually got to the point that I was asking them when they were going next so Wyatt and I could tag along. So last week when C&B requested our help to move their newly purchased couch, they treated us to dinner at their favorite Indian restaurant - Chennai Masala. And now for the past week I can't stop craving Chicken Vindaloo - YUM! I really think it made all the difference having "experienced palates" with us to recommend what to order. (As a side note, as soon as we walked in the restaurant my mind was flooded with memories of my childhood friend Anisha Malholtra. Her house always had a distinct smell and it took me years to realize it was the curry.)

Oh and if you've never ordered Indian food before, let me give you a tip. When the server gives you your side options...he is not asking if you would like "rice or non", as in "non-rice". He is asking you if you would like "rice or naan" - Indian bread. Just remember this tip and you will save yourself the humiliation that comes with your hosts and server laughing at you... I laughed at myself too. It was pretty funny!

Next up. We had a knock on our door at 9pm Tuesday night. It was our (awesome!) neighbor Lem. Lem and his roommate Mben (sp?) are from the Gold Coast of Africa (I don't remember which country). Knowing this I have said on more than one occasion that I would like to try African food. (I am not that rude - I always make this comment after he suggests having us over for dinner.) Ask and I receive... Lem brought us some African food to eat! Similar to many international dishes, it consisted of rice and some kind of meaty sauce, like a curry. Had I been the one to answer the door, as opposed to Wyatt, I would be able to offer you more details about the dish...for instance, its name. Surprisingly it reminded me of the time I had African food when I was in the fourth grade for our African lab. At the time I thought perhaps the food tasted like peanut butter to try and coax the ten-year-olds into trying the dish. But it's true! Lem's dish had a trace of peanut butter...chased by a spicy punch! It was incredible!

My eyes have been opened my bloggy readers! My poor, poor taste buds have been in captivity for all these years. What was I thinking for snubbing Indian food for so long?! And why did I think I could wait until I visited Africa before I ate the food?! I am a firm believer in eating like the locals when I'm visiting a new place...but perhaps I should get to know potential locals here? And then manipulate them into sharing their food with me. I agree, it's a good plan. :)

PS - I've been told that when Chinese people greet each other, it can be translated into "have you eaten?" I like the Chinese...always thinking about food.


The Babkm5 said...

You know that taste buds change with hormone changes...if you know what I mean!! :)

Becky Despain said...

Let me know when you have your next Vindaloo craving. We're always looking for an excuse to go eat there. Or anywhere for that matter. . . .