When you can’t savour the local flavour, take a ‘tour de taste’.
Boredom in foods and flavours isn’t unusual. We understandably end up mixing the same spices with similar ingredients, churning out the same dishes day in and day out. Even when we step into an eatery, it isn’t surprising we opt for a ‘safe’ food, one which aligns well with our taste buds. However, to avoid a saturation of taste for those buds, it’s imperative we venture out of our shell and taste the unusual.
For instance, imagine crossing the seas (not literally) and exploring the famed spices of Sri Lanka, which melded with the recipes of Tamil Nadu to produce a fragrant and fabulous cuisine. Not to forget: fiery. Sri Lanka has always been famous for its spices. And when traders from Tamil Nadu met their counterparts from the emerald isle, they traded much more than pearls, gems, conches and corals. Dried Maldives fish and spicy chilies started travelling to Tamil Nadu, along with caramelised onions, spicy scraped coconut, and palm sugar desserts.
If hot spices are not what you seek, move east to ‘sushi-land’. There are umpteen ways the Japanese cook and present sushi. Often combined with simple ingredients such as seafood and vegetables and sometimes even with tropical fruits, this oriental rice recipe takes an exotic form. Fish-forward kitchens are making sushi one of the most sought after international recipes, combining local ingredients for a flavour closer to home.
Go west, and you meet the season’s freshest asparagus in Italy. In a traditional celebration in Veneto, asparagus takes culinary centre stage as the king of Italian Spring. Various festivals are held in Veneto, the region around which is appropriate for asparagus production, especially white asparagus.
Through the end of this month, experience the fieriness of Sri Lankan spices meeting with Tamil recipes at ITC Kakatiya; explore sushi delights from Chef Landon’s stable at ITC Maratha; and savour the Italian asparagus tradition with Festa dell’asparago ‘Sparasada’ at ITC Grand Chola.
Nothing like an international journey into flavours to break the boredom of your taste buds!