Americans Try Indian Snacks For The First Time from Buzzfeed Video. Just reading the name of the said video filled me with a sense of foreboding. Why such a powerful word as foreboding? Well because I, as an Indian, find our food as one of the best in the world. And so it began…
*Cue classic Indian fun music (according to BuzzFeed) with shehnai and dholak*
The very first food item on the list of items tried was “Thums Up”, to which the participants’ reactions ranged from — it tastes like Indian Pepsi, smells like carpet cleaner to I like this better. One of them actually pointed out the spelling of “Thums” and went far enough to state, “This is probably how they spell it.”
Now my first reaction was, “Seriously? Who drinks Thums Up as a snack in India?” We might enjoy it occasionally just like the rest of the world enjoys aerated drinks like Coke or Pepsi, but our snack time drink is tea (which we fondly call chai) or even coffee. And my second reaction was: Thums Up is actually owned by Coca Cola. Yes, a foreign brand. So actually, it isn’t even Indian.
Next up we had Aloo Masala Chips. Okay, I will give in to the fact that we do have these as snacks. As I had been expecting, the participants couldn’t exactly handle the spice.
Some of them did enjoy them, though. But again, I can’t help but point out that this is not an Indian snack. Maybe something like Pakora, a stuffed fried dish, might have been a better option instead of industrially manufactured chips which aren’t exactly “Indian.”
Next up we had “Bhujiya.” Most of them liked it and my reaction was, “Well, meh.” But then after reading the first ingredient on the back of the pack which said “moth flower” (which is actually a bean Vigna aconitifolia grown in India and Pakistan), they probably mistook it for grounded moths in flour, or at least that’s what their expressions conveyed.
But think about it… You are already enforcing stereotypes like our spelling styles and our penchant for spicy food, so you might as well have gone ahead and inflicted “all Indians are vegetarians”. That would have stopped you from arriving at the above conclusion.
Next in line were “Hajmola Digestives.” To all of you sitting out there and reading this, yes they tried Hajmola pills, which are technically pills to help with digestion, as a snack! I am not even going to react to that and hence am presenting a comment on the same below.
Last but not the least we had *drumroll please* pani puri… Without the pani. For all you pani puri lovers, outraged at the thought of having the puri (the shell) without the pani (the spicy watery stuffing that goes within it), our participants tried it without the same and my reaction was, “What the hell is wrong with these people? Seriously, whatever, I don’t even care anymore.”
Similar emotions were echoed in the comments below too. Out of 12,360 comments, at least 3000 pointed out this mistake and no, I am not kidding because I counted. Here’s a sample, a drop in the ocean of comments this food item got out of the viewers. Well, pani puri is a food item close to our hearts; you mess with it, you mess with us.
To be fair, BuzzFeed actually realised their mistake and published a video “Americans Try To Eat Pani Puri” in which the participants tried it the right way and this time they enjoyed it.
So to conclude, it was really a blend of emotions for me. There were parts during which I laughed, parts where I got angry, parts where I went, “What the hell is wrong with them?” and yes, all in the time span of 4:35 seconds.
It is a fun video to watch, but my advice to BuzzFeedVideo is: Do your research well, because when you mess with the food of a country you mess with the country’s people.