06 Dec Food in itself is a culture
Christmas comes every year, but what makes it special every time? Perhaps it is the joy of sharing precious moments with our loved ones. Festive celebrations, especially the holiday season makes me reflective – the warm fuzzy feeling in the air, the jingle of Christmas carols and the ring of distant church bells-everything is beautifully sequenced to make you feel blessed and happy. But there’s one thing that links all these celebrations and festivities together – food. When we share meals across the table, food silently weaves into our culture and changes into a beautiful tapestry! Earliest humans were hunter-gatherers and traveled places in search of food. With time humans realized the importance of settling down and that’s how civilizations got started. They developed farming techniques, searched new foods, discovered trade routes, created diverse tastes and mastered culinary tricks. Since then food and its culture has come a long way. Food culture is specifically an expression of how people associate food with customs, beliefs, ethics, personal preferences and how they value it. But today food culture has gone beyond those realms to connect with subjects like art, designs, books, science, technology, politics and films. Today food travels across continents and is explored like never before. That’s how it begins to reflect culture. Food reflects culture…because food in itself is a culture Renowned gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin sums it in one line, “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” We identify pizza and pasta with Italy, cheese with Switzerland, meat and potato with America, spices with India, coffee with Latin America, noodles with China and so on. We also understand that some people are strict vegetarians, others are non-vegetarian, some follow dietary laws and for some food is influenced by their religious beliefs and rituals. For example foods that conform to Islamic dietary laws are called ‘halal’, rice hold spiritual significance in India, bread and wine represent Almighty’s Supper or Communion etc. This diversity in food overwhelms me. That’s exactly what motivates me to work at Sun Impex each day! This kaleidoscopic food culture mirrors in our product lines as well – diverse products from diverse origins, traded on diverse routes across diverse cultures. As a consolidator and supplier of food sourced from different parts of the world, the thought of contributing towards this food culture itself makes me euphoric. We have cheese varieties from all corners of the world, seafood from every ocean, fish of every variety, fresh fruit of almost all kinds, the all-encompassing horeca products, exuberant nuts and bakery ingredients that make almost any dessert. A food ingredient that originated in one part of the world crosses continents, to furnish the requirements in another part of the world. In this way food connects us, our cultures into one big community where food is grown, traded, transported, cooked, tasted, eaten and above all celebrated.
A Merry Christmas to all!