The Postcard
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The Postcard

Dreaming of Indian Cuisine and Radically Flavored Travel Experiences

Travel writing prompt #1: “Travel is delicious!”

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The Postcard writing prompt #1: “Travel is delicious! Expats — what food do you miss most from home? Travelers — if you could visit/live anywhere based on cuisine, where would it be?”

I used to be a picky eater as a kid. I wanted all my food separated, sometimes side dishes on entirely different plates. Sauces touching each other was a catastrophe. (Condolences to my parents…)

While I outgrew a lot of those attitudes and habits naturally with age, nothing has pushed the boundaries of my relationship to food more than travel. Outside of the familiarity of American food and Americanized dishes, I was forced to give up the simple, comfortable things I liked in favor of more adventurous meals. And I’ve loved it. Nowadays, I enjoy the complexity of foods, like sushi for example— lots of ingredients combining to pack flavorful little punches in every bite.

Yet even the more ethnically diverse foods that I often enjoy here at home are commonly tweaked from their origin recipes in order to better suit American palates. This is largely why for me, like many other travelers, tasting authentic food prepared in the places where they originate from is a huge travel priority.

And there’s no food I’m more curious about than genuine Indian cuisine.

Researchers found that on a molecular level, Indian food is vastly different from that of a lot of Western cultures.

A really interesting article from The Washington Post highlighted some cool flavor research from the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur. Researchers found that on a molecular level, Indian food is vastly different from that of a lot of Western cultures:

They examined how much the underlying flavor compounds overlapped in single dishes and discovered something very different from Western cuisines. Indian cuisine tended to mix ingredients whose flavors don’t overlap at all.

The approach to Indian food uses a radically different food logic altogether. Unique flavor pairings and the abundance of complex recipes and spice combinations make such incredibly vibrant dishes. I’ve had great Indian food here in America. I can only imagine how much better things must be from their original regions.

One day, I dream of going to India, especially during a big holiday and festival like Diwali which just passed. I’m confident that it will be the greatest culinary experience of my life. My taste buds can’t wait! In the meantime, I’ll be at home doing my best with my garam masala spices.

Writers at The Postcard are encouraged to submit their own stories in response to the “Travel is delicious” prompt. Prompts will be posted periodically and can be responded to at any time.

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