Food and Identity
Most people have childhood memories of food outlets; your favorite restaurant, or perhaps a market where vendors sold the most delicious and luscious fruits for free. Healthy food, local sourcing, cultural preferences and activities, festivals, personal stories, colorful cuisine and more all contribute to your identity: Essentially who you are, what you believe in and where you hail from. By losing connection with food and its significance, as well as with the people who grow and process it, you in fact and invariably lose much of the cultural history and identity as a community and as a nation. Think about the fact that food and a variety of associated gatherings have a way of uniting diverse folk from all walks of life.
What you eat reflects your culture, as such, there are certain traditional foods that make a statement by themselves – whether it is a bunny chow or braaied meat. They help you discover and understand who you are – and who others are; their likes and preferences too.
As people, we also interact with different ethnic groups through trying out and embracing culture-specific foods. For example, immigrants or expads often use food as a means of retaining their cultural identity in a completely new setting. But they also experiment with local cuisine, very often falling in love with local food such as traditional Indian dishes in Durban.
However, people from different cultural backgrounds usually eat vastly different foods. Furthermore, methods of preparation, ingredients, preservation techniques and types of food eaten at different meals vary among cultures. This is why it is often said that good food and good company go hand in hand. In other words to genuinely embrace another culture, learn about their identity and appreciate the differences in meals and meal preparation – it is more about embracing people, communicating and ultimately celebrating the uniqueness of individuals.
The regions in which families live and where their ancestors originated encourage food likes and dislikes. These food preferences result in patterns of food choices within a cultural group. Jaipur Palace, as an award-winning restaurant, strives to prepare delicious meals every time, using original recipes influenced by great Indian ancestors; especially on our traditional menu. Our food is appreciated by the Indian communities all around us, including some far and wide in greater Durban. At the same time, other ethnicities and cultures have also fallen in love with our authentic Indian flavours and foods. We are proud to service a growing and diverse spectrum of loyal clients in Durban North and city-wide – notwithstanding tourists who make it their duty to stop over for buffet or takeaway.
A number of people don’t just eat any kind of food, they watch what they eat and when. Remaining healthy is their main concern and they avoid food that can pose a threat to their health. We serve a wide range of meals and invest in premium quality meats, vegetables, spices, and ingredients. Our chefs prepare meals that not only tantalize your taste buds but are also nutritiously made to perfection.
Having celebrated Heritage Day in September and looking at so many trends in the food industry, we trust that you enjoyed this read. Look out for more interesting articles on our blog and press room in coming months and be sure to follow us on social media.
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