[FoRK] India's dining scene

Ken Meltsner meltsner at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 14:39:24 PDT 2005

The US (and Europe) has a long-standing flour milling infrastructure. 
Are wheat-based foods relatively uncommon in India?  I suspect this
isn't an economic comparison, but a purely cultural one.

After working with my oldest kid on a class project to determine how
prices have changed since the depression, I'm a little more aware of
changes in cooking/eating habits.  One of the changes is the drop in
portions per package of raw materials even as the size of processed
foods has increased.  Flour used to be most commonly sold in twenty or
fifty pound containers; five pound bags seem to be the norm now. 
Potatoes would be sold as bulk items or bagged; some stores now sell
them in individual packages.

This has been balanced by increases in the size of perishable staples
-- milk is commonly available in gallon sizes instead of quart
bottles, for example -- but most staple items have shrunk over the
years.   Of course, sometimes the price seems out of line for a big
package -- 5 pound cans of coffee grounds will put a dent in your
wallet, even though they probably cost less per ounce of brewed

It might be interesting to track this sort of trend in India as well
-- even among more traditional households, if rice is bought in bags,
have those bags been getting smaller?  My guess is that more people
there (as well as here) are buying increasingly processed food instead
of basic staples.

Ken Meltsner

On 4/21/05, Russell Turpin <deafbox at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Fun article, Rohit! I suspect most people here
> in the US, including those in our parents' generation,
> would be surprised that cooking doesn't count as
> "from scratch" unless you grind your own flour. ;-)

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