Friday, February 10, 2006

How curry conquered the world

[Hat tip to Dogwood for this NYT review].
A couple of years ago, as a spoof, a London newspaper designed the cover for an ultranationalist magazine. It showed a lout in a leather jacket and Union Jack T-shirt sitting down to an Indian meal, surrounded by the slogans "Keep Curry British!" and "Bhuna! Nan! Pilau! Curry is your birthright!"

The lout may be right, as Lizzie Collingham tells it in "Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors," her fascinating if digressive inquiry into curry and how it grew. Curry, which originated in India, has become one of the most internationalized foods on the planet, right up there with pizza. Karee raisu (curry rice) is one of Japan's most popular foods. Samoans make a Polynesian curry using canned fish and corned beef. In New York, several restaurants on the stretch of Lexington Avenue known jokingly as Curry Hill do a brisk business selling kosher curries. The British, having mastered the art of curry and chips, have moved along to culinary innovations like chicken Kiev filled with curry sauce.
A fascinating tale! Boy --- more to read! Yay! :)

1 comment:

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

As you may know, my "internationally famous, prize-winning" vegetarian chili relies on South Asian spices. Who knew that some of those spices originated in my ancestors' "clueless search for palatable food"?