While Goan food is as famous as the beaches of this tourist Mecca, celebrated in cook books around the world, this unique cuisine of India’s smallest state is in danger of being lost, overshadowed by the influences of the booming tourism and hospitality industry.
Since the mid-1980s, Goa has evolved from a laidback state with magnificent beaches to a major international tourist destination. This has led to a dominating presence of multi-cuisine restaurants catering to the tourist demand, providing fast food and international cuisines, while the local diet is traditionally based upon rice, seafood and coconut gravies. Irrespective of caste or creed, rice was consumed thrice daily, including a late morning break of ‘kanji’ or ‘pez’ (rice gruel) with salted fish, vegetables, pickles and chutney.
“The growth of the tourism and hospitality industry has taken heavy toll on Goan cuisine, which is becoming endangered,” stated Anjali Rao, chairperson of non-profit organization Indology-Goa. “These days it is difficult to find an authentic Goan restaurant, which are on the verge of closing as they are unable to face the competition of this onslaught of fast-food culture”.
Indology-Goa and the Pune-based voluntary group OneAsia are collaborating to organize a global cuisine conference, ‘United We Eat’. The event will focus on the challenges facing Goan cuisine and discuss the relevance and integration of traditional cuisines with modern lifestyles. It also aims to examine the evolution, benefits and state of research on traditional Asian diets as well as benefits and problems associated with its survival. The conference is to be held over Sep 2-5.
News Post India