Food Fascination #3: Indian Coffee / Indian McDonald’s

One of the most charming aspects of India’s culinary landscape in the art of the Indian coffee. As I learned, there is a method to pouring the coffee that involves transferring the hot milky contents between two metal saucers. We stopped for lunch one day at Saravana Bhavan in Connaught Place where a friendly waiter demonstrated for us the traditional method of serving the perfect coffee.


While in Delhi, we also had the experience of visiting a McDonald’s. In my opinion there is never really a valid reason to enter a McDonald’s unless you’re an irritated French sheep farmer who has a point to prove. Much of the world agrees: there is something outright demonic about McDonald’s unabashed pursuit of profits, its disregard for nutritional value, its questionable relationship with the environment, and of course the way it panders to children with “happy meals” and “play lands.” Be that as it may, between our visits to the mobile creches and the NIPCCD we were pressed for time and needed a quick bite to eat, so to my chagrin we pulled up to Ronald McDonald’s house of horrors. I should have started my hunger strike against the corporate juggernaut right then and there, but curiosity got the better of me. I decided to check out the “veg” and “non-veg” selections to see what was what. I ended up ordering something called the McSpicy Paneer, featuring the normally delectable soft cheese that has been a part of Indian diets for so long that it is referred to in the Vedas dating back to 6000 BC. Ron’s version is breaded and fried and slathered with a tangy but otherwise indefinable red spicy sauce, which is then served up between two ubiquitous MickyDee’s buns and then called “lunch.” I picked at mine with distrust as I tried to remove the breading and all the other bullshit in an attempt to rescue the savory, unsalted paneer. To summarize, this was truly my best experience at a McDonald’s anywhere in the world, and I highly recommend that you go somewhere else when your stomach begins to grumble while walking in Delhi streets. Buy some fruit from a vendor instead.

Oh, McDonald’s, you are the same the world over. Well, almost. What are you trying to hide anyway?


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