Viewing India as a Product — Food

Indians take pride in the diversity of the country. The first example when trying to explain this to others is using the example of food. We have few high level categories covering the different tastes — North Indian cuisine, South Indian cuisine, coastal or sea food etc.

Drilling down further, each state gives it’s own twist to the common food items (sweet poha vs spicy) while some food items are exclusive to a state or region (sattu). Within each state, there are further variations of the same dish to give a different taste.

This gives an unique opportunity for restaurants to differentiate themselves in the overcrowded restaurant business. However, go on to any food ordering website and you will see that the menus have almost the same items between the restaurants in the same cuisine. Further, a lot of dishes which can be found on only wikipedia or personal cooking blogs are not found on any restaurant menus. Neither do the food ordering websites (like Marketing @ Swiggy, etc) make special efforts to recognize restaurants which provide more than the run of the mill dishes.

Where do all as foodies from Tinder, Yelp, etc go to eat? Where are the specialty chefs who try to take food to the next level without just giving it an European name? Why does the Bay Area in US has more Indian food variety than any cosmopolitan city in India? Where are our chefs — traditional and modern?