Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How to fry without oil?.2

Now the stereotyper-in-chief BBC says fried and salty food are "Western Diet". And I used to think bland food and salad were their staple diet. Of course, that was my impression about China too but I have come across various types cooking that use copious amount of oil and salt. A Taiwanese even apologetically told me their diet wasn't healthy.

However, fried items may be a recent development in South India. Again Telugus maybe the exception here as they appear to fry every eatable vegetable. But I may be wrong about traditional Telugu food. But when it comes to salt and chilly Telugus are a cut above others.

Traditionally, people fried only fish. I haven't come across any other fried meat items. Then few snack food were fried. But snacks are staple diet only in IT industry.

Of course, neither oil nor salt came to India thro' these "Westerners". We have traditional endogamous castes of oil presser (Kan: gANiga) and salt maker (Kan: uppaliga).

We also have a type of Salad called pacaDi in Kannada or caLLi in Malayalam. It's just that we don't have lettuce leaves. I don't think those terms are derived from any IE languages.

But I wonder about this "West" when it comes to diet. Otherwise West encompasses Mediterranean regions like Greece. Then why healthy Mediterranean diet isn't part of Western diet. This in a way isn't all that wrong. I am thinking of genetic input that shaped cultural outlook of Greece and that is clearly West Asian.

In conclusion, BBC could have reported everything without 'Western Diet', 'Oriental Diet' nonsense.

PS: So we have to consume salad instead of salty food. It appears salad itself is derived from Latin Salata meaning 'salty'. Irony...Irony.

1 comment:

Maju said...

I think that by "western diet" they actually mean NW Euro or even McDondalds style of food. Brits are not famed for their cusine, nor are US-Americans, nor most of Northern European peoples anyhow. Cusine is a more southern developement, though not only Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean diet is not anyhow something exclusively Greek: Latin Europe is also in that (or used to be).

Nor I can admit it's something genetic: such things are mostly cultural.