Food For Thought

The Trend Of Bashing Anything Vegetarian – Why???

Recently, I have been observing a trend which I find to be quite disturbing… It is this practice of bashing (verbally of-course) anything vegetarian as not good enough to be considered as food… Outside India, this is something that has been happening for quite a long time and even many of the so called “culinary giants” have been known to do that for a long time… What surprises me is that nowadays, I see an increasing number of Indian food vloggers start doing the same especially regarding Vegetarian food from the Indian cuisine itself… Why???

The fact remains that the Vegetarian cuisine in India is regarded as the best in the world… I mean we have seen even the biggest culinary giants get completely mind-blown by our vegetarian food to the point that even those who had been bashing vegetarian food have been seen to correct themselves and admit that the Indian vegetarian food is as good as or even better than anything they have had before… For example, we all know who Anthony Bourdain is and here is a clip from his show where he says about his thoughts on vegetarian food in India (just an example – there are many other popular names too which would make this post too long if I include all of them):

So, it is at this point where I see some Indian food vloggers (not chefs) especially malayali vloggers who have started bashing Vegetarian recipes which brings me to why I decided to write this post… I am somebody who follows most food vloggers (I won’t be naming any of them for obvious reasons but if you are following them, you should be able to tell – lol)… Recently I saw a post by one fairly popular food vlogger in which, just because he was unhappy with the Veg Biriyani that he happened to get at the time, he made a remark saying Veg Biriyani is a wrong concept and such a thing should never exist… I first thought that this might be just one freak opinion, but a while later, I saw the video of another vlogger say the same and then some more even in many of the foodie groups and pages in social platforms… So, to those people who claim that there is no such thing or that there can be no such thing as a Vegetarian Biriyani, here are two of India’s most popular chefs demonstrating how to make a Veg Biriyani that you might want to check out and learn from:

Seeing this bashing of veg biriyani made me curious… And so, I did some digging (CID work as one of my friends would say) into this matter then found that for some time but not too long, many food bloggers/vloggers (I am not including names for obvious reasons) are doing this thing where they praise non-veg food with excitement but downplay or even ridicule/bash the vegetarian stuff quite significantly… I mean when I checked, I saw one popular malayali food vlogger say “ithu vegetarian aayipoyathinte oru prasnam maatrame ullu…” when talking about a dish which was being shown which means that the only problem is that its vegetarian… Then saw another one say that Paneer (cottage cheese) should be banned as thats used to trick / cheat us from eating the “good stuff”… There is a duo where one is a vegetarian and their content is such that every time they sit to eat, the meat eater is seen mocking the vegetarian person for being a vegetarian and even the way they talk about the vegetarian food they have is in a bit of a depressing “nobody cares” tone… These are just few of the examples… There are a lot more that can be seen in social platforms these days and it pretty much looks like a trend nowadays… Do such content fetch more views, etc these days I wonder 🤔🤔🤔

Anyways, please don’t get me wrong… I am not saying that there is anything wrong in preferring to eat Non-veg food or vice versa… Its perfectly fine to do so as what we eat is indeed our personal choice… But do we really have to bash/shame/mock the food or people based on their food preferences??? For example, if you don’t like to have Veg Biriyani, just don’t have it… Let others who may prefer, enjoy the same… Vegetarians are in no way inferior to the rest and they have as much right to enjoy food as everyone else… So, why say things like so and so vegetarian food should never exist??? Fyi, the methods of pretty much any recipe can be applied on vegetables… Ever heard of Eggplant Steak and Veg Kebab for example??

Personally, I eat both Veg and Non-Veg food and having observed what many of these people speak/type, it looks like most of these non-veg eaters are still looking for the taste of their non-veg favourites in vegetarian food and thats why they were disappointed with the vegetarian food that they just had… That by itself is the main problem… For the non-vegetarians to understand, its like eating Chicken expecting it to taste like Fish or eating Fish expecting it to taste like Beef and for the vegetarians, its like eating Carrot expecting it to taste like Garlic or eating a Chilly expecting it to taste like Plantain and so on… Get it???

Just like Meats and Seafood, Vegetables have their own taste and flavours that can be enjoyed too… Infact I think I can go as far as to say that most meat and seafood recipes do end up using vegetables to further enhance the flavours… Eg: why use carrots, onions, celery, etc in the recipe to make Chicken Stock?? So, I think it is a monumentally stupid of a stereotype to even think that Vegetarian food is not good enough (I mean think about it – every single Indian dessert is vegetarian; so, they can’t be that bad 😅) and the solution I think is only a matter of overcoming that hurdle of expecting vegetables to taste like meat and being able to appreciate the diverse flavours of the vegetables as well…

Another problem which I have observed is the fact that most restaurants tend to ignore their vegetarian customers which usually is a minority and hence don’t care enough to prepare and cook the vegetarian dishes properly… Even many of the so called vegetarian restaurants too look like they consider all of their customers to not have a tastebud and just put something together and just serve… So I do realise that many of those bashing vegetarian food are probably doing so cause they have never had properly cooked good vegetarian food before… To such people all I can suggest that they keep an open mind and try some good vegetarian food options… Ask your vegetarian friends (even I have posted a few reviews here too) and they will be able to tell you where to go for them… I think if you are someone who enjoys flavours in the food you eat (cause there are many who just consider food as fuel and what they like eating based on nutrition charts and whats trending in social networks), you will be able to appreciate and enjoy vegetarian food as well…

Thats it for now… Thanks for the read… Take care… 😃😃😃

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