Well, last night we had our 4th curry night. For the first time we weren’t full for it, but Feb is a pretty quiet month all round. However, we did have several French tables. One older French couple opened my eyes to the cultural differences between us, although we are only separated by a relatively short stretch of water. They got chatting to Dave and said words to the effect that, ‘well, now we’ve tasted curry!’ to which Dave replied, ‘well, you tasted A curry, there are hundreds and thousands of different sorts…’ and they were really surprised – they thought that curry was one dish. Dave explained that not only are there many different curries from India, but also the Carribean, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. That it is a vast and complex cuisine.
Never mind THEIR surprise, I was shocked that anyone could not know the general principles of curry cuisine! I know now that this is something that us Brits, and me particularly, as my Mother was born and brought up in Sri Lanka, take for granted – we are brought up with curry in our veins! On the other hand, the French are into Creole cuisine and Antilles curries are about the nearest a lot of them get to a curry, and colombo spice powder is the extent of their spice knowledge.
This is clearly a legacy from our colonisation of India, and of the French colonisations of the carribean islands. I love the Carribean, but I love Indian curries more, so I’m gald we had that long collaboration with India! We did, of-course, also get a toe in the door of Carribean cuisine with our colonisation of Jamaica, so I guess we got the best of both worlds.