Variety the Taste of Life

By Andrew Otage

Decades old Lake Victoria hotel was the traditional choice for Christmas lunch. From a time dating back to the colonial government, it was the venue of state receptions. The night of the Governors last ball dance must have had the glitter of the crown, as 70 years of the imperial curtain was summed up in a cocktail event to remember.

The Governor clad in black ceremonial uniform with the ladies of the imperial house in dotting white hats and matching gloves waltzing the night away with the sounds of the colonial brass band.
Sandwiched between the ambience of Uganda’s “White House” and the serene Entebbe Golf course, Lake Victoria hotel has in its over 50years existence been sustained by a hallmark of service.

Many recall a time during Christmas when the hotel made available its kitchen and catering services to the public- Christmas cake could be made on order, its large ovens were used to grill mutton and stuff turkey that was picked up ready for lunch with all the rich culinary dressings, the quality of the service was executive. The good times of fine dining hmmm…Food food.

Recently an argument raging online nearly started a 3rd World War. Over what? An illegal stockpile of nuclear weapons? International trade bullying? Scramble for Africa’s endowment? Middle or is it Meddle East crisis? Race issues? Big Pharma?

Apparently, the altercation was ignited by differences and preference in food!
What is referred to as a running egg(half raw) or easy York in other parts of the world is offending the refined tastes of some who prefer it well done and they have taken online to express unreservedly their irritation.

Amazing the sort of things people will argue about. Fried Eggs, I know right!!!! Anyway, how do you like your Eggs? The love to have it “half-done egg people” and the ones against have drawn battle lines. The thread of comments will tickle you with the best laughs.

For the first time people who would ordinarily are opposed to each other by race color or creed are standing strong and what super glue has effected such a bond- food.

Food can play a functional role bringing people together. What world diplomacy has failed to resolve over time has momentarily been achieved over a thin line between half raw and ready. Maybe it’s time to reflect on a wide range of new strategies outside the box.

Next time the U.N arranges a meeting of factions, the role of “conflict over interest” should be a considered opinion. Affiliate people of varied backgrounds who share common interests.
They could have say, a UN “smart breakfast” leading to a “smart dialogue” leveraging on similarities to build consensus and roundtable many issues- Fini!

Food food food
The BBC earlier in August ran an interesting story: a dispute pitying 15 west African countries haggling over which country makes the best jollof rice. Another food war of words, renown Senegalese born musician Akon was one among many distinguished commentaries.

Jollof rice is what Bereyane is to India, Risotto to Italy and Paella to Spain. Gambian jollof won the rice war (and) now everyone wants to taste the difference. Gastronomy is exciting as it makes the tourism experience a rich melting pot.

This side of the world, there is plenty and by far a broad choice to pick from. However, there is something to say about Katogo one of the popular native dishes made with a base of different ingredients. We shall not even attempt to explore further on the topic and about how much quantity of meat and makes for a good plate of Katogo; That’s for ‘Kampalans’ to prosecute.

The only thing concerning is how far we might have derived a mindset from Katogo that seems to dictate so many patterns. I mean in the new urban sprawl, its typical to find a Hospital next to a loud Bar, on the same street between a School and a Church, with Boda bodas swarming all over the place like a scattered beehive – Katogo development.

Was food for thought supposed to be proverbial or has our food become our thought for development?!
Have your say.
Happy celebrations.

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