Monday, August 23, 2010

Bourdain about town

From the backwaters in Kerala.
Image from Wikipedia
Strangely enough, I watched Anthony Bourdain in Kerala last night. Strange for two reasons- one that I was ranting only recently that he had failed to make it even once to one of the great food destinations of the world, and two, that it just happens to be Onam.

So we have Tony going around in Cochin and the backwaters, snoozing predictably on a houseboat, sweating delightledly over mussels and fried fish. I did think that he didn't provide an adequate enough analysis of the many nuances of Mallu food, for instance, he didn't distinguish between say, Mopla cuisine and Syrian Christian cooking, and so on. To the causal viewer it would come across as routinely spicy and heavy on seafood, which of course it is, but. Still, he did mention how brightly-flavored and nuanced the vegetarian dishes were, so that's something. (There was no pork.)

He apparently spent a lot of time with superstar Mammooty. And he mangled the words "Malayalam" and "sadya." But he clearly had a jolly good time, and the episode was well-paced; in  fact, it was a surprise when it ended.

So Happy Onam, Tony. Thank you for saying you found the toddy foul-tasting, and for looking good wearing a silk kurta in the Kerala heat.
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