Here it's the "curried lentils"
syndrome: while curried lentils are the basis of many great Indian
dishes, there's a point where every potluck
locally becomes "Hey! We've got the greatest zucchini-sunflower bread
, and salad
, three-bean salad
, and...curried lentils! Isn't it great
how vegetarian food can taste?"
What I can see is that most of these people are all trying to out-vegetarian each other, by trying not to make anything look or taste good (veggie burgers, and things of that kind, are out, so is anything with milk, eggs...and it's not specifically a vegetarian gathering)...the bread is grey (how does it get that way, I wonder) and slightly oily, the salad generally has only salt, pepper, and a minimal amount of oil on it (and no dressing in sight), the three-bean salad comes from a jar, and the lentils are made by simply dumping some curry powder over some overcooked dried beans. Being as I don't like beans that much and am allergic to cumin, this leaves me with the salad and bread. While I explain that I can't deal with the curry, I get "Oh, it's not hot..." or "Don't like hot stuff, eh?" until I get to the "Well, it's actually the cumin. Can't deal with coriander leaves, either." Long silence. Averted gazes. Some of the less sensitive start talking about how they LOVE cilantro, and had some WONDERFUL food with cilantro on it...just the other day!..."
I've learned not to go to one of these gatherings...