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Dr D wins with his wit yet again, answers chef who called Indian food 'terrible'

The chef's comments were named a tasteless generalisation.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 11.41 AM IST
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Agencies
Tom Nichols faced backlash on social media for his comments.

Tom Nichols faced backlash on social media for his comments.

(He is one of the leading doctors in the country. He values his privacy (but not of his clients)

Dear Dr D,

Ever had vindaloo? It reminds me of the chemistry lab at high school — the stench of ammonia and H2SO4. Chicken tikka masala has the stench (also the appearance) of diapers. I am not offering my opinion here, I should clarify. These are objective facts. Ask anyone in the civilise d world. Indian food... the best thing that can be said about it is that it mitigates against other Indian food. Naan is disgusting but is needed to distract from saag-paneer and raita is inedible but what else is one to do to douse the fires in the mouth?

As an academic, I made this observation but was faced with the headlines: “Indian food is terrible and we pretend it isn’t, says international affairs professor”, adding that “critics called his comments a tasteless generalisation and racist”.

What can I say in reply that will prove my point?
White Guy, PhD
America


Dear White Guy,
I don’t think you need to worry. It’s okay to offer a strong opinion on things you know little about. That’s what Twitter is for. But purely from the perspective of science, I should say that taste is not a function of aesthetics but of evolution. What is beneficial will appear tasty and thus become ingrained in culture over millennia. Chew on that.

(Statutory warning: This humour column is not for the weak-kneed or the thin-skinned.)

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