I have a lot of biases. I am wary when a white person gives his opinion of any Asian food. I won’t take a man’s opinion seriously about how he feels on women’s rights if he’s insistent that she change her last name after marriage and/or be the primary caretaker of children. If you have never lived anywhere outside of a 30-mile radius of your hometown, I’ll probably dismiss your opinions about other parts of the world or the world in general unless you make a really good case for it. But some of my strongest and most easily guessed biases are the ones around food: if you ever say you hate an entire continent’s food, I’ll never respect your food judgment (or maybe even your judgment on anything — who the hell says they will write off an entire continent’s food when that continent will likely have so much variety that this idiot making that comment probably has never even had half of their food?!). If you say you are gluten-free but do not (and very likely do not based on statistics) have a gluten allergy, I will think less of you. If you ever categorically say that an entire food is unhealthy and bad for you (e.g. bread, meat, fruit, and I’ve met people who’ve said all the above), I will not want to have any further voluntary conversations with you. At all. And if you tell me you can’t stand any Indian food, we’ll probably never share a meal, ever.

The reason I say this is because India… is a damn big country. Each region, much less each town or city, has its own dishes, its own way of spicing things. It’s the same reason I take offense when people say they dislike all Asian food, all European food — how much have you really eaten, anyway, to make such a massive statement like that? A Kerala curry is very different than a Punjabi curry; they are NOT the same thing. The base isn’t even the same. So why do people make stupid statements like this? Does it make them feel more comfortable being in their ignorant little shell of “this is what I like to eat and that’s it?” Has it ever occurred to them that a comment like this could be perceived as… racist?

Somehow, I remembered someone telling me she just couldn’t stand Indian food, especially having traveled to India multiple times for work — all while doing research for our India trip this summer. She said she just couldn’t take it even though she tried.

Yep. Never taking a food recommendation from this person ever again.

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