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Is it true...? Popular food rumors, food myths, etc.

a
Apsara dancer Oct 15, 2009 07:21 PM

Hi all,

Quick question: is it true the best Indian food in the world can be found in London? Where did I hear this or did I just make this up for some reason.

Also wondering if anyone has any other similar rumors / secrets about finding (fill in the blank) in unexpected places. For a food article I'm writing, this is not the main topic, but just a few sentences as the opening paragraph.

Used to post here years ago from nyc (under diff name), now in Phnom Penh. Thanks in advance and I appreciate any help or ideas!
Apsara dancer

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  1. Scrofula RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 01:09 AM

    It's a matter of preference. If you've grown up on London Indian food, then you might like it better than the real stuff. The best Indian food I've had was (surprise, surprise) in India.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Scrofula
      Paulustrious RE: Scrofula Oct 16, 2009 09:29 AM

      That was not my experience, but things may well have changed over the last 25 years. And I was only in Delhi. And I prefer the Midlands - but maybe because it's cheaper there.

    2. j
      janniecooks RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 04:54 AM

      I always thought (and my personal experience had borne it out) that rather than London having the best Indian food in the world, the "myth" was that the best food in London was Indian food!

      1. q
        queencru RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 06:03 AM

        I tried Indian food in a variety of places in London and was never overwhelmed. I think jannie is right that the rumor says that the Indian food in London is the best food there, but I didn't find that to be the case either. There is a lot of wonderful food in London.

        1 Reply
        1. re: queencru
          BobB RE: queencru Oct 16, 2009 06:51 AM

          Indeed there is. I will say though that Indian food in London (and the UK in general) takes the heat level (in dishes where it's appropriate) well beyond what you normally find in the US. Here I can rarely get a vindaloo prepared hot enough to make me sweat, even when I ask for "authentic" heat. Not to say one can never get serious heat, just that it's rare. In the UK, pretty much every Indian restaurant I've eaten at serves a vindaloo that pushes my capsaicin limits. I'd never dream of asking for "extra hot" over there!

        2. s
          smartie RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 07:49 AM

          I have spoken to a number of Indian people (from India) including immigrants to the US and they have all said that British Indian food is pretty darned good and certainly better than what is available in South Fl.
          But like all generalizations ....

          1 Reply
          1. re: smartie
            sandiasingh RE: smartie Oct 16, 2009 08:43 AM

            I think chicken tikka is the national dish of England--they named it so a few years back. My husband is Indian and everyone I've talked to in the family concurs London has the best Indian food outside of India.

          2. southernitalian RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 09:02 AM

            There was an article in Wednesday's NY Times in which an Italian food historian (can't remember her name) asserted that Italians were eating pasta for at least two hundred years before Marco Polo ever travelled to Asia. There have always been a lot of stories surrounding the origination of the Caesar salad.

            2 Replies
            1. re: southernitalian
              jmckee RE: southernitalian Oct 16, 2009 09:35 AM

              Caesar Salad is easy: Invented by Chef Caesar Cardini at his place in Tijuana. Julia Child ate it as a youngster.

              1. re: southernitalian
                BobB RE: southernitalian Oct 16, 2009 09:45 AM

                That was by Oretta Zanini De Vita: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/din... , and it's not 200 years, it's almost 500.

                To quote from the article

                "[D]ried pasta made with durum wheat was found in Italy starting around A.D. 800. It was spread by the Muslim conquerors of Sicily, and by the 12th century the maritime republics of Genoa and Pisa marketed dried pasta.

                Documents exist to prove this, should there be anyone left — and it appears that there is — who still believes that Marco Polo introduced noodles into Italy in 1296 on his return to Venice from China."

              2. luckyfatima RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 09:08 AM

                London does have great food. I grew up in the US being told by media and other stereotype sources that food in England is horrible. Such a lie. I had excellent , very memorable, world class meals in London. I must say that for Indian food outside of India, I would assert places like Dubai and other Gulf cities, and Singapore and Malaysia, have great Indian restaurants and a lot of ingredients come from India directly or are widely available locally , hence fresh, and the restos are there mostly by and for Indians. I would say places like that have excellent Indian food, probably better than London because it tastes more like home.

                1. NellyNel RE: Apsara dancer Oct 16, 2009 09:22 AM

                  I actually had better Indian food outside of London in England - places like York and Peterborough.
                  The places I tried in London itself were meh - but do remember some AMAZING Indian meals while I lived in England. I have yet to have anything like those wonderful meals since I've been back in ny/nj.

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