The majority of countries have a national dish. That one dish has the power to tell us an awful lot about each country’s values and attitudes. But, it’s getting harder to distinguish what dishes are native. Why? Because the majority of destinations now offer a multi-cultural choice of foods.
Chinese and Indian are top of the list for a surprising majority of Western destinations. Thai food has also been growing in popularity over recent years. While a Thai restaurant would once have been a hard thing to find, there’s now at least one in any major Western city. No one can deny that this variety of food is good for us. We all aim to experience different things, and now we don’t have to travel halfway across the world to do so. But, are these takeaway options an accurate representation of the cuisine in each country? The chances are, a visit to each destination would tell a different story. Let’s look at why.
Image from Wikimedia
Indian is a top takeaway for a lot of us. Who doesn’t love those exotic spices that pack such a punch? But, anyone who’s visited India for real will tell you that authentic Indian food would be a surprise for your tastebuds. In fact, you could go so far as to say that many of the curries we enjoy have never been seen in the country that’s supposedly their origin. Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, is an English creation which few Indians replicate. The spices we use may be roughly the same, but the tastes created are incredibly different.
Our Chinese taste is a little closer to the real thing, but they’re still not exactly accurate. The Chinese are a resourceful people. As such, they eat a lot of stuff we would never dream of. We’ve all seen Chinese food markets on television. Foods on offer include tuna eyeballs and scorpions to name a few. You don’t find them on a standard Chinese menu, do you?
As a newer addition to the takeaway tastes, Thai food is the closest you’ll get to the real deal. But, even that has some variations to suit our sensitive palates. The main difference is that our Thai takeaways come in neat foil containers. In Thailand, though, the majority of food is served in food markets. Large batches are cooked up and placed on display. The experience is a much more inclusive one than our private experiences at home.
So you see, eating exotic takeaway is far from the real taste of a country. Don’t think you’ve experienced the cuisine of a place because you’ve eaten a home-produced variation. Nothing beats jetting off and experiencing the cuisine of a country first-hand. You’ll learn a lot about the values of the nation as a whole that way. Plus, you’ll find yourself living life like the locals. If you want to know what matters in a country, there’s no better way than taking a taste of what’s on offer there.
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