I had some insightful comments today and in particular I thought I would share this comment with you all:
“I have had Indian and Thai curries and other Asian food in Europe that tastes nothing like the original dishes....When I asked about it I was told it was adjusted to the local taste...could this be the case in Male''.....Surely it would be nice to have authentic dishes available but like everything maybe what most people want might be what is available"
I agree in Europe and many other countries, to an extent this is true. Especially, in the UK where in particular Indian food is Anglified. This started long before the UK opened any Indian restaurants. It all began when the British were based in India and they wanted to eat "what was available", and within a blink of an eye, Anglified Indian food was born!
As for Thai food, it has been only a recent introduction to Europe and yes to a large extent; the spices are played around with, especially with the chili component to suit the sensitive and delicate palates! ;)
I also am inclined to agree to the above statement about people having to deal with what is available. My dilemma is when restaurateurs develop menus with dishes requiring ingredients which cannot be sourced or found locally! This is where the problem and my whole argument lie.
Of course some dishes can be made with substitutes as in the case of Pizza. It is almost impossible to source real mozzarella; hence we use a “so called imitation of mozzarella”. This is fine as long as we are trying to bring the patrons the closest possible to the real deal. So far so good, but then we go on to name the pizzas with authentic Italian pizza creations and have no idea what they are doing. As a point in case, one fairly popular restaurants in Male have a “Pizza Margherita” on their Pizza menu. A pizza with mince beef, some kind of sweetish tomato sauce, cheese, peppers and chilies. This is nowhere close to an authentic Margherita!
This is not a lack of ingredients or a matter of availability! It is pure ignorance and failing to do any research on the subject. Also they believe that their patrons have no clue or more to the point don’t really care about these things, which in most cases is sadly true!