Food is the source of sustaining life, so therefore a matter of importance to all and the preparation and consumption of food from the earliest prehistoric times to those of today in which the world has largely become for most of the Earth’s population, a ‘global village’ in which our lives are infused, happily and to our great benefit, by aspects of daily living in which cultures from across the planet feature.
For a range of different reasons there are times when, uniquely, through food and the intrinsic social bonds of fellowship that surround consumption of food, the cuisine of the culture of peoples and lands greatly distant from those of ones birth, emerge and come to be greatly loved by those not of such lands and cultures. There are many examples of this phenomena from the conquest of countless British hearts – and indeed of 21st century British supermarket world foods ranges — of Indian curry, and indeed other iconic dishes from across the world.
With this phenomenon from the pioneer days there has been ever greater discernment on variations and types, quality, and interest in the nutritional and health benefits of such world cuisines. Going to any Western (British, European, North American, and other) nation’s Indian, Chinese, Italian … high street restaurants or takeaways, great diversity in terms of dishes available and sought, is to be found. It is long overdue that the story of Nepali foods, which for those who have been fortunate enough to have been introduced to authentic home-cooked Nepali cuisine can testify to as being exceptional, diverse in range and types, and indeed a cuisine that swiftly conquers the taste buds leading to life-long enjoyment, be at last addressed.
This book does this and substantially contributes to providing a solid basis on which from those who understand and enjoy home-cooked specialist world cuisines across to those in the restaurant world, to supermarkets and to catering colleges students and lecturers, can properly engage with, taste, and gain knowledge on Nepali cuisine which in consequence deserves to take a much more prominent place in the world, South Asian cuisines known in the UK and the broader West. This information resource is therefore no directory of restaurants, but fulfils the much more important purpose indicated, and plays its part in initiating the cultivation of a much greater awareness of how the choice, preparation, and consumption of food opens a very effective door to understanding a given culture, including its key day-to-day living social dimensions.
It is a privilege to have the opportunity, under the UK Nepal Friendship Society and through the greatly appreciated support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and most of all the readily expressed enthusiasm and assistance on guidance and content provided by the Nepali community, particularly the main contributor and the other contributors, to provide this preface as editor and compiler of this book. The three strands of support referred to have enabled through this book and information resource to address the long overdue need for a focused and comprehensive profiling of the Nepali cuisine to the broader public, and indeed the broader Western world. I hope you will enjoy the book, and through it learn a little about the great, ancient and diverse culture of Nepal and the Nepali community, and in particular take up the opportunity to taste this beautiful and delicious South Asian, world cuisine.
Compiler & Editor of ‘Traditional & contemporary Nepali Home-Cooking’
Chief Executive Officer, UK Nepal Friendship Society