When I worked for one company, I could eat in their canteen. Every day I would choose from the ‘dishes of the world’ option. One day it was ‘Hungarian goulash’, but when I tasted it there was no paprika nor red peppers, it was just a meat stew. ‘Chilli con carne’ had no chilli or kidney beans and ‘Indian curry’ contained no curry flavour.  It was then that I realized why the French think that their cooking is the best, because they massacre the recipes of the rest of the world. People think they have tasted foreign food and it turns out to be horrible, so therefore their food must be the best! Put a little bit of spice in a dish and people won’t eat it, ‘Ca pique’ they cry. Attempts at replicating foreign foods are pretty pathetic. One Saturday I was in a frozen foods shop and saw curries on sale. Thinking that a curry would make a nice change on a Saturday evening, I bought a packet. The taste was overwhelmingly disappointing. We looked at the ingredients to see what was in it. There was neither cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek nor chili to be seen. The only flavouring was……..mustard! A moussaka I bought, contained no lamb and had the texture of baby food. When an Indian restaurant opened in town we tried it out. The food was lovely with plenty of flavours, but no fire. The waiter came to ask if everything was OK. I said that the food had plenty of flavours, “but we are English”, I added. He didn’t stop to ask any more questions. He disappeared and returned with a bowl of hot chilli sauce. He obviously knew the difference between the tasting needs of his French clientele and those of English diners! One spicy food that is often eaten is couscous. The chorizo sausage should add piquancy to the dish. If not, it is often served with a small bowl of extra chili sauce.

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