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A Tale of Food Patterns

A Tale of Food Patterns!

-Shachi Bakliwal

Food, a way of retaining and connecting cultural identities and traditions. Food patterns are characterized through geographical landscapes, availability of produce, taste palettes and constant evolution and innovations. Every corner in the world has its own food tradition influenced by their ancestral food choices which result in present day food patterns.

It’s interesting to note that even though every region across the world has its own food specialty, there is a similarity in the ways it is prepared and therefore results in somewhat similar textures and tastes.

The way we experience taste is also influenced by genetic makeup. The basic tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami are detected when these tastes bind with certain receptors on our tongue. Given that our tastes and food choices are determined by our primary culture and ancestoral food patterns, it is natural to make an analogy between your identified food culture and new explored foods. Our perception and association of certain flavors is based on our consumption methods. For instance, bread is an integral part of one's diet across the world, it could be in the form of flatbread, sourdough, ciabatta, focaccia, pita, tortillas and rotis, all different forms for the same bread. As a gastronome, it’s intriguing to put together the flavor profile of a recipe and bring out the resemblance.

When bringing out similarities within popular cuisines, it's fascinating to note how the basic structure of our day to day meals remain the same throughout the world. Every meal would have some carbohydrate, protein and fat in their construction. To dive deeper into this, if we start looking at cuisines like Indian and Mexican, the use of pulses is quite dominant.


Let’s start by breaking down the taco and popular Indian breakfast Dal Pakwan, both their textures are the same. There’s a base like a tortilla that can be fried or cooked, for tacos the bread is made of corn and for Dal Pakwan the bread is rolled like a tortilla and fried. They are topped with boiled, sometimes spiced pulses, beans for tacos and Split bengal gram lentil for dal pakwan, both can be further topped with veggies, salsa, dips and chutneys. It’s stimulating to note that human taste buds from different parts of the world came up with the same texture recipe, innovated and evolved it according to available ingredients, geography and tastes. There are several more delicacies that would have the similar flavor or texture compositions.

Food has no boundaries and can be cherished across all tables. So keep watching this space where we break down different recipes on our tables and find their synonymous cousins across the world!

Are there any other similar dishes you can compare? Drop down your comments :)

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