Ever since I tried the Pizza, almost two decades ago, I seemed to have fallen for Italian food and culinary cultures. Every week, pizza was a must, and I would devour them guilt-free. However, it took me to live in Italy to discover my true tastes, desires and comforts when it comes to cuisine. 

I am so reminded of my favourite line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that I dramatically adapt to my culinary predicament: Not that I love Italian food less, but I love Indian Food More!

And surely it isn’t surprising that I found myself to be very Indian and that formed a deeper bond with my country, and I rediscovered my personal identity. 

Food is more than just a fundamental requirement for living; it is also a vital part of culture and identity. Food’s cultural importance may be shown in a variety of ways, including how it is made, presented, and eaten. The relationship between food and culture is deeply ingrained and has existed since the dawn of human civilisation.

Food’s cultural importance may be shown in a variety of approaches, including how it is made, presented, and eaten. Different cultures have distinct food approaches that reflect their traditions and beliefs. The way food is made and eaten in various regions of the globe, for example, reflects local topography, climate, and accessible resources.

Cultural rituals and celebrations are one of the most important ways in which food is linked to culture. Many cultures have foods associated with religious festivals, weddings, and other significant events. Food is even thought to have healing abilities in certain cultures and is utilised as a treatment for many diseases.

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Food may also be utilised to reconnect individuals with their cultural background and identity. Cooking skills and recipes are often handed down through generations, retaining the flavours and traditions of the past. Sharing a meal with family and friends helps to establish social bonds and foster a feeling of belonging.

Furthermore, the way food is marketed and consumed reveals its cultural significance. Many food companies use cultural stereotypes and imagery to sell their products, reflecting their target audience’s cultural values and beliefs. Mexican food, for example, is typically connected with fiery flavours and bright colours, while Japanese cuisine is associated with precision and delicacy.

Food has been impacted by worldwide cultural interchange, in addition to its cultural importance within a single society. The merging of civilizations has resulted in distinctive meals that represent the fusion of cuisines. For example, combining Indian with British cuisine produced dishes such as chicken tikka masala, which has grown famous in the UK and throughout the globe.

Finally, food plays an important role in the cultural identities of various societies around the world. It represents their history, customs, and values, and it is often utilised to reconnect individuals with their cultural background. Food’s cultural importance may be seen in how it is made, presented, sold, and eaten. 

By exploring the connections between food and culture, we can gain a deeper understanding of different societies and how they have evolved over time.

Our next article throws lights on the beloved Indian Favourite – the Tandoori Naan and its origins!

We would love to hear your thoughts on your favourite food and how it may or may not have a cultural association! Please comment on our Linkedin Post.

Authored by Mohammed Azam, HPG Consulting