India is known for its food that is just as vibrant and exotic as the country and the culture itself. Street food of India is an acquired taste. It is a different cuisine all on its own that cannot be found anywhere else but in India. The street food of India is made with unique flavors all comingled in a single dish. It’s affordable and made on the spot, ideal for tourists on a budget who have an adventurous palate and a strong stomach. Most visitors to India are warned of being careful of what they eat or drink. To be fair to street vendors who sell street food of India, it is not just something isolated to them.
Street food of India is deep fried and the oil is re-used in making foods like Samosas, Pani Puri, Vada Pav, and Aloo Tikkis. Reheated oil becomes an unhealthy carcinogenic that is harmful. The demand in street food of India might prompt vendors to take shortcuts and customers might not be not know if stale vegetables are being used or if some chemicals are added to enhance colors and improve the taste. The consequences might not be apparent at the onset but they may be felt in the long run. There are healthier options like Fruit Salads, Dosas and Pav Bhajis.
Moderation is the magic word. Street food can be enjoyed for a long time if one can be sure that the food is fresh, the vendor cares about hygiene and it’s not consumed every day.
Some street food vendors don’t use disposable joints but serve their food on steel plates. There is no way of knowing how these steel plates are washed or stored. They may just be dipped in warm water and left to dry, making them the perfect breeding place for bacteria. Paper plates on the other hand are only used ones and then disposed. They do not collect bacteria or even breed bacteria.
If it is not plates that should be a worrying factor, the pots and pans used are as clean as they can be. Considering that they are used all day in the street, one should not really expect that they get cleaned properly if at all. Bacteria that breed on unsanitary place can cause all sorts of mayhem from diarrhea to fever and vomiting. To get the most out of a Indian holiday, no one needs to have to deal with stomach problems.
The street food of India is good and it’s a delicacy. It’s an indulgence that should be had once in a while.
Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22931831@N06/6805357287/