One More Thing About Food

(With apologies to those who encouraged me, via email, to drop the subject as it was apparently getting boring)

I used to work with this woman who had to have Lawry’s seasoned salt on everything she ate. Not everything, mind you, not on salad or cereal or whatever, but any soup, pasta, stir-fry, casserole…tagine, thali, meze... She had grown up in a house where it was used with everything and thus food just didn’t taste right without it. If you’ve never had it, you should know that Lawry’s seasoned salt has a distinctive flavor—thus to me, anything cooked with it tastes rather like Lawry’s seasoned salt.

However: another milestone in my becoming fully Sri Lankan has arrived. I think food doesn’t taste proper if it’s not cooked with turmeric and at least a little bit of chillies. Again, not certain foods (barbecue veggie patties are fast becoming my favorite quick meal) but pretty much everything else. Now, if someone who hadn't been here 5 1/2 months ate a turmeric-and-chilli-spiked dish, they would probably think it tasted Sri Lankan, or 'ethnic' or something. Discuss.

On the subject of things that taste like their dominant flavors, I have discovered that if you put a tablespoon of tomato paste in any soup with at least two vegetables, the soup tastes exactly like Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable, and/or Progresso Minestrone. Don't tell me that those two taste different. Reminds me of the Sharples veg-veg soup too, which is blandly—very blandly—comforting, from this remove.

That was boring. My regrets to all. Had a post almost finished about the weekend trip—Colombo and posh beach hotel, very enjoyable—but the computer crashed and it was lost. Will try to reconstruct but my track record is execrable in this regard. Also, forgot my camera. Damn, damn, damn.


Ross said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ross said...

see, i didn't think it was boring.

also, i think something could be said about the concept of bland food being good.

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