Thursday, October 6, 2011

Confessions of a Food Snob

I am a food snob.

You can have your vada pav and eat it too, but I just can’t.

You can have egg burjee, missal pav, fried hilsa or whatever else takes your flight of fancy, but I just can’t.

I was told the first time I was down with a bout of food poisoning, that it was a rite of passage, within days my stomach will adjust to all the gutter in Bombay food.

Three years, however, is a rather long time for a rite of passage and I still go through the painful occasional bout of food poisoning every month like women who are fated to menstruate.

I remember the most painful episode of Bombay belly that I ever experienced.

The kindly doctor in a Byculla clinic gently patted my stomach and said, “Beti, you don’t have an Indian stomach.”

“We Indians can eat any trash in the world and get away with it but you don’t dare experiment,” he warned.

The trouble is, I don’t eat trash.

I have never eaten a morsel of food from any street vendor in Mumbai.

Going for meals with me is a nightmare for most friends of mine.

I’ll go nowhere near any restaurant that serves Chinese food and apart from food, the ambience, the cleanliness of tables, cutlery and the floor have to be just right before I step in.

With all this precaution, you would be forgiven for thinking that I would probably be the last person on earth to suffer from an upset stomach.

Alas, no.

First, it was the fish.

I should have known better not to eat something called ‘Bombay duck’ which had food disaster written all over it.

Why would you eat a species of fish that clearly was confused about its place in the animal kingdom and what’s worse it came from Bombay!

I craved Goan fish curry and the elderly Goan aunty even cleaned the fish in front of me, so I assumed it was safe.

All I remember of the rest of the day is helping an irate taxi driver clean up his vehicle after I threw up inside.

Then it was at Pam’s birthday.

We were even shown the fish before it was gutted and grilled.

I don’t remember the rest of the day again because I threw up at her place an hour after the meal and passed out soon afterwards.

And I didn’t know I was allergic to eggs till I came to Bombay.

No, I never was fond of them at home either but an intrepid foul egg that found its way into an innocent brownie I had eaten was enough to make me endure pure agony for two days.

So, what do I eat?

Well, BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast) food during the Bombay Belly days and home-cooked or gourmet food on good days.

Yes, I shop at Nature’s Basket outlets and I eat at Cafe Moshe’s and yes, I hate McDonalds.

I could very well be any junk foodie’s worst nightmare come alive, but after all the travail my non-Indian stomach has gone through, I now get paid to eat good food.


Beti- ‘daughter’ in Hindi

1 comment:

  1. Aah man, I feel for you. Went through it myself in the first year, didnt dare touch non-veg but two years into it now..anything goes!