The Curry Train (Originally Published June 10, 2010)

I was in the lunch room the other day enjoying the company and conversation of my coworkers when the topic turned to ethnic food. A coworker of mine, asked another co-worker, what she was having. She replied that she was having curry, and explained the finer points of curry, the actual dish not just the spice, and the topic turned into Indian food in general. I was asked if I like Indian food. Being the honest man I am I replied “No, I just cant get used to curry.” The coworker who was having the curry, who is also of East Indian descent, summed it up rather well when she said “You either love curry or you absolutely hate it there is no middle ground.” Another coworker asked me if I like curry, to which I replied my idea of ethnic food is Taco Bell, and cue the laughter in the lunch room. “oh so you’re a meat and potatoes man then?” she responded. 

This got me thinking “am I a “meat and potatoes man?” I wouldn’t say I’m a meat and potatoes man, to me that implies that seven days a week you merely, eat meat and potatoes. My god I’m starting to sound like that cranky old fart on 60 minutes. Actually deep down I secretly like Andy Rooney but I would never admit even if I was being water boarded at Git-mo. To be honest I like to think of myself as having a wide and varied food palette but there is certain ethnic foods I don’t like. It seems to me that there is a polarizing thinking when it comes to ethnic food, you either love it and you’re hip or you don’t and you’re branded a “meat and potatoes man.” Where is the middle ground in this? 

I am sorry I tried but I just can’t get on the Curry Train. Wouldn’t it be great if they re-booted Soul Train and called it Curry Train? It would be just like Soul Train but with a East Indian slant. They would have all those cool Indian dance routines like at the end of “Slumdog Millionaire” and a super funky host named Raj Cornelius? No need to thank me, I’m an idea man its what I do. Before anybody accuses me of being racist I assure I am not. I really do dig Indian culture and love watching Indian music videos on Saturday mornings, Mrs Mitch can vouch for that. I’ve even learnt some dance moves I’m just waiting to bust out if I ever get invited to an Indian wedding. This probably won’t happen anytime soon seeing as my entire circle of friends are as ethnically varied as an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. 

Whenever you tell an Indian food devotee that you don’t like Indian food they always have one of two responses  A) “Oh, man you just haven’t tried really good Indian food.” (and for some reason they need place special emphasis on the ‘really’ of  really good  like reeeeeeaLLLLLy) or B)”You just need to try true ‘authentic’ Indian food  to really like it.” (complete with a head bob up and down on the true to  emphasize the ‘truth’ of it) I’m going to lay some truth on you and I do apologize if this sounds a wee bit angry. First, when you say either response A or B you sound like a complete condescending A-hole. Second, if I don’t like something, I don’t like it, lets just accept it and move on don’t try to convince me why I should like it. Nobody would ever pull this with a bologna sandwich, “You don’t like bologna? Oh man, you just haven’t tried really good bologna sandwiches. You just need to try true ‘authentic’ bologna sandwiches to like it.” I’m sorry, I just can’t like curry, a spice that smells like a cross between body odour, and a garbage dumpster on a hot day doesn’t appeal to me. 

If you fall within the age range of twenty to thirty five I theorize there are 3 types of ethnic food that are trendy right now. 

1.  Indian food.

2.  Thai food.

3.   Sushi.

Frankly I’m not a fan of any of the three categories. I really don’t have a reason why I don’t like Thai or Sushi, I just don’t. Yet heres the problem with these three categories. It’s Saturday night and you and your spouse are going out with your other couple friends…

“What do we feel like?”

Mrs. Mitch: “Ohhh lets do Thai!” 

Couple male friend: “I could go for Sushi”

Couple female friend:“The girls at work were raving about this new Indian place.”

Mitch: “Hey, how about pizza?”

Silence; and they all shoot me the “B minus” look, you know that look your teacher would shoot at parent-teacher interviews, “Mitch excels in English and I gave him a B minus but he could be a  solid  A student if he actually studied” as she half smirks, raises her eyebrows, and slightly nods her head up and down. That’s the look they all gave me. What happened to pizza? When did it become so lame? Pizza was once the golden boy of Saturday night. Now pizza has become that  B-List backup friend who was once an A lister but got really drunk at your last party puked in your kitchen sink, made a clumsy pass at your wife, and then lost his balance and fell into your shower while taking a whiz and ripped the shower curtain down in the process but you still hang with him out of pity when all your cooler friends are busy. 

Don’t even get me started on Samosas. Okay you twisted my arm, Ill give you Mitch’s Samosa Theory. You’ll probably notice I have a lot of theories. I’m thinking about adding a glossary page of all my theories on the blog. Next time you go to a Heritage Ethnic festival, take note of how many of the vendor tents sell Samosas. It’s like every country has Samosas. Japanese Samosas, African Samosas, American Samosas, Russian Samosas, Thai Samosas, Prussian Samosas, and Vatican City Samosas*. Really you are all serving Samosas. Are you even trying anymore? This is so not worth 8 food tickets at $1.25 a pop, and look you’re serving hot wings how ethnically diverse! 

*Technically Vatican City meets the criteria of what constitutes a country, who knew? Thank you Google for that useless tidbit.

No need to thank me, I’m an idea man its what I do. 

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