Explore the world of Australian food through 'tweedeos'
Indigenous foods and unique ingredients of Australia can now be explored in India, thanks to the efforts of master chef Ranveer Brar aided by rapid proliferation of social media
Indigenous foods and unique ingredients of Australia can now be explored in India, thanks to the efforts of master chef Ranveer Brar aided by rapid proliferation of social media.
Brar has brought across to food aficionados the Australian farms, markets, vineyards and gastronomy stories through short videos on popular social networking site Twitter. These videos, called the 'Tweedeos', provide a glimpse into the delicious diversity of cuisine in the island-continent.
"The fact that Australia has a culture and food ecosystem that has developed in isolation was one of the biggest reasons for me to visit (that country)," Brar said, explaining what prompted him to zero-in on the land of kangaroos for his innovative initiative.
"Also, I think Australia has an evolved 'farm to table' philosophy. Something that I stand for, hence it was a first
choice for my tweedeo series," Brar told PTI.
Talking about the unique quality of food of the commonwealth land, he said the ingredients are truly the most remarkable part of the Australian cuisine. "On one side there are these new world fresh and zesty ingredients and on the other end there are the original native Australian ingredients that go back thousands of years and are unique to the Australian ecosystem," Brar said.
"The old world ingredients are the native Australian ingredients, like there is a variety called the 'Morton Bay Fig', which is like a primitive fig, it's like a 1,500-year-old variety. Then there are these berries, the riberries, lilly berries... they call it lilly pilly berries.
"These berries are also very native, very unadulterated, more than a 1,000-year-old non-genetically modified species," he said.
"So, on one end in Australia there are these very original, very untouched ingredients and on the other end there's everything which is new like wines, olives, oranges, tomatoes, which is very new world, which came to this part of the southern hemisphere only after 1850-1860s. So that for me is a contrast, it's a really beautiful part of the experience," the master chef said.
Traditionally, Australian food is very native in nature - foraging, picking up stuff, hunting and gathering, that's how
Australian cuisine actually started-off, Brar said.
"There was a movement called the Pacific Rim movement, the first so-called inspired food movement which started on this side of the world. That is where Australia inspired India. So most of the Asian inspired dishes that we see today actually started in Australia.
"Like today lemon grass is used, coconut is used everywhere, Thai chilly we use everywhere... so that whole conversation started in Australia," Brar said. Brar, in association with Twitter India and Tourism Australia, launched the video series titled #Ranveerontheroad on July 21.
The tweedeos' sojourn will span 40 short, real videos in which the chef will reveal 'his' take on the graphically vast
continent-country and uncover its history.
On similarities and differences between Australian and Indian cuisines, he said, "The similarity that truly stands out is the diversity in cuisine and culture for both India and Australia. The differences in eating habits stem out from the
rich vegetarian culture in India, while Australia has been more meat-eating until recently".
On the aim behind starting the series, Brar said, "Tweedeos are small webisodes that carry a personal perspective from my travels. It's aspects of a destination and culture that either has not been looked at from a fresh perspective. All of us spend a lot of time on the cellphone and this creates an opportunity for content hosting and consumption on this medium".
He said Indian cuisine is immensely popular in the bigger cities of Australia like Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. "I
visited a few Indian restaurants to the happy sight of more Australians dining than Indians".
Asked how tweedeos are a better medium to put across information to food enthusiasts, the chef said "the reason I chose Twitter was because I felt I could have very personal conversations with the viewer".
Every tweedeo is hand-picked by the chef himself, curating the best of local flavours, culture, traditions and bonds unique to India and Australia, which is not just food, but all making memories about 'The Land Down Under', 140 characters at a time.
The tweedeos will be launched every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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