"Tell me what you eat & I'll tell you who you are," said Savarin some years past.

Very true....

You raise many & valid points here. Yes, as Frederick Douglas pointed out, the slave knows the master's culture far better than the master knows the slaves'.

Still correct. To a degree.

What do I know about Indian food? Very little, aside from the fact I like it. I have better, nuanced understanding of Chinese, Mexican, French & even British (such as it is) cuisines. Sorry. I just don't have as much experience with Indian cuisine. I've never been to India, alas, though I have been to those other countries. In time, I hope to learn more.

Yes. I've long known that spices originated in Europe to defend against the inability to preserve proteins. I've never heard the proposition that spices in Asian cuisine cover for "bad food". When you claim "white people" say this, I have to respond: None that I've ever heard. White people I know are either unfamiliar with Asian & South Asian cuisine, or like it quite a bit.

Why consider a general question about Indian food a burden, rather than an opportunity to educate?

Surely it's possible to understand that some Asian cuisines, influenced by some of recent history's worst famines, include materials most people abhor on first contact. E.g. I've learned to appreciate candied scorpion in high-end Beijing restaurants. Not everyone will, however.

Re the alleged blandness of "white people" food, the human palate adapts. When someone tells me white people food is bland, I ask, what do you normally eat? If it's customarily food with high heat indices, then of course foods with little or no heat will come off as bland.

Compare to people compelled by health reasons to restrict their sodium intake. Many find the result unbearably bland. Salt not only seasons food, it blends other flavors. Most, however, who stick it through eventually find their palates more sensitive to nuance & subtler flavors.

In some instances it's difficult, nearly impossible, to adapt to foods one wasn't raised on. I've never known anyone, for example, not raised on gefilte fish or pickled herring, to find them anything but disgusting. I'm not offended. In the least. Asking "how can you eat that shit?" isn't anti-semitic. It's amusing.

Re potatoes. Those come from the New World. But I'll wager the Irish & Germans & Russians do amazing things with them because they did become a staple of those cuisines.

Still, when all is said & done, while I might be offended by loaded questions, I'm not offended by the sincere declaration that a particular food, associated with my heritage, is bland. The loss is theirs. They've never had, or appreciated, a #7 pastrami on Rye with Russian dressing at Langer's Deli with matzoh ball soup.

S'okay. That leaves more for me.

Ps: I haven't looked at the video yet, but will try to do so when I have more time. Thanks for the perspective.

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics