Three is quarrel but still I was having launch with two of my colleagues, mahesh & lee.The asians or particularly, the sub continentals bring their in house pyramid like dabbas for lauch.But the local canadians here love to dine out.

Mahesh jain is indian, gujarati to be precise. He is strictly vegetarian. Though red meat has been the motivation of my life but even i turned into a reluctant herbivores lately. But it was`nt by choice rather, due to my rising bad cholesterol!

But today is a special day- pohela boishakh(1st day of bengali calendar)

I was never a `once i was bengali` type. But patriotism swells into refugee (expatriate!) life.And it`s a double delight if any native fest connoted with heavy duty food bonanza.

So to days menu card- genuine ilish (hilsa-NOT shad fish!), smashed tomato (from my own backyard plantation) and of course the old mother of all- panta bhat!I m not sure technically, it should be called panta or not-just mixed water with cold rice!Still the arrangement is impressive indeed.Only a little shortage of a shanki(clay pot).I brought a few vases from aarong last time. But sadly, none of them managed to survive till Toronto!

Lee min is Chinese, lives on liquids.i`ve never seen him eating anything solid.Soup, jello, lemonade or milkshake –these are his regular cuisines.There are two hundred types of soup- i`ve gathered this pearl of wisdom from lee!

`What`s the name of this fish?’ mahesh seems curious.

I guess he`s hearing the name Ilish for the first time.

Thank got he`s not a calcuttian dada who are in plenty here.Then my beloved ilish would be get vanished by now!

But just yesterday I had thepla and dhokla from his dabba (that incorrigible nightmare will haunt me for years!) But just to reciprocate, I offered him a slice.mahesh is a devoted mahaveer follower. But it seems like he pursues guru nanak instead when it comes into transactions!- `if you give 2, you `ll get 4 in return’. Today is not navratri but this son of modi is playing dandiya with my pohela boishakh delicacy!

What`s the major food of your country? Lee asked suddenly.

Fish & rice?-I thought for a while. Well, at least in our tales! But how many of the people get to eat fish these days?- that`s a major question. But i saw a poor facebooker`s status recently- as long as there are thai pungash and tilapia, there`ll be no shortage of fish protein!

So I replied — Rice & fish. Yours is noodles i guess?

China is a gigantic country-lee kept on going- sichuan food is huge in central china. Meatball or pork fry are very popular here. Northern part is snow studded, so hardly any paddy plantation there. So noodles and dumpling are the staple foods.There`s majority of muslims and aboriginals in western china.So the foods there are all either halal ot tibetan.

India too is the same case- Mahesh told willingly. The gujarati lives on khandvi, dhokla and handvo. The Bengalis are die heart fish eaters.The Punjabi favorites are butter chicken,aloo paratha and rajma chawal.The tamils of the southern part eat pongal, idli and dosa.And mughlai dishes like biryani and kebabs dominate at Andhra and hydrabad.

By the way, what`s the main food of Canada?i asked. spontaneously.I`ve been living here for so long but it never occurred to me.Anzelo has been hearing our food conference so far.Now he too joined in-` pizza and pasta!’

Anzelo has come from milan. Apart from electronics his iq is lesser than a medium sized tilapia.But he should be spared in this case. Canada is practically a land of emigrants. People from round the world have been migrated here since centuries. They all have their own lifestyles and different cultures. A few of them have actually mixed with the local main stream.

`No sir- The national food of Canada is poutine’.

Here walks in mack from another side.Mac brown`s forefathers did come here from ireland.As a third generation representative, mac is decisively more canadian than all of us.

I`ve heard this name poutine before, but never tried it.I guess this one is from the Quebec area.This`s a starter prepared with french fry and cheese curd.i`ve heard that even macdonald’s sell poutine these days.

Today`s lauch is almost done.It`s shameful that we all have blue passports but we are still unaware of the number one food of canada.It was decided that we`ll try poutine into the next day.

So in the next day,we all cheeked into great burger kitchen to taste poutine.All of us are asian migrants today.when we placed our orders the waiter seems clueless.I guess it`s not that trendy to have poutine among the non whites.The price isn`t too high- $5 each.The chicken sauce makes it spicier. Anyway, the taste is not bad (at least for a snacks!).I assess the team Horton coffee or Doughnut do better marketing for Canadian identity!

While eating, lee told us that the poutine comes from the word fat man.this`s possible as the kind of cheese that poured in- it`s a perfect recipe for a possible heart blocks!

After finishing the poutine and the mentadatory ritual(selfie!)when I got back to office, misaki asked from the opposite cubicle-

where did u all go? saw no one at the launch.

Oh..we went out to try poutine –the no 1 food of Canada.

Misaki is from japan.Now she keeps silence for a while and then said- succi is the national food of Canada, not poutine!

What are you saying? I`ve heard all my life that succi is a Japanese item.

That`s true. But the red Indians here came from asia, possibly from japan or Mongolia!

Fabulous! Every one has their own theory of everything and branding their own products. How about trying this with our very own panta and Ilish?. After all Bill Clinton said- the thing about branding is, you don’t have to be-you can be fact-free!

panta ilish
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