Overview for A Matter of Taste
From Lavis meals, modern diets and cooking lessons that serve as a rite of passage to fake fasts and real ones, fish, feni and fiery meals that smack of revenge, this book has something to satisfy every palate. Gandhi's guilt-ridden account of his failed flirtation with eating meat starkly complements Ruchir Joshi's toast to the senses as he describes his characters discovering a truly alternative use for some perfectly innocent shrikhand. In unique gastronomic takes on history, Salman rushdie, Amitav Ghosh and Saadat Hasan Manto ensure that we will never look at chutney, a Tibetan momo or jelly in quite the same way again. Food becomes the less appetizing religious line of control for Abdul Bismillah's guest when a simple meal illustrates the rather thin divide between guest and host, while subtler shades of deprivation mark anjana Appachana's Anu as she keeps a fasts that reeks of prejudice. And in faraway lands, across the seven seas, the search for fresh fish accentuates the loneliness of a life without familiar moorings for Juumpa Lahiri's Mrs Sen even as Anita Desai's Arun learns from his American hosts the importanace of keeping the freezer full. As much about food as it is about good writing, A Matter of Taste serves up a veritable feast for the senses and food for thought to sample or devour, as one pleases.
Nilanjana S. Roy (Editor)
Nilanjana S. Roy is a columnist for the Business Standard and the Telegraph, and reviews books for a host of publications.