The definition of a culinary colonialist is someone who, looking-up from the rocket salad, opines hot curries be all heat and no flavour. Instead of just admitting that he or she is a namsy-pamsy with a molly-coddled palate unable to stand a bit of heat, the respective commentator will throw around killjoy lines such as: “A hot curry is not a curry as too hot a spiciness suppresses the flavour of the food”.
As a result, real curries – Indian, red-hot, sweat-inducing – are being eschewed by foodies. Instead we get these horrid Thai things which taste like a coconut milkshake with a hit of chicken stock, or those precious South African Malay concoctions calling themselves curry. In the latter, turmeric is used to create a luminous yellowish plate of food flavoured with a few spices stuck in a sickly sweetness. If Peter Pan or Boy George wanted curry, this would suffice. But truly, a Cape Malay curry is as close to the real thing as Justin Bieber is to getting a starter place in the Auckland Blues.
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