Monday, December 05, 2005

Tomatoes and hotels

Our weekly visit to a vegetable market in Bangalore is my lesson on street level economics. Spread over a length of about 2 kilometers on the side of a road, it is a pristine market in all its glory.

Last week saw us shop for tomatoes (among other vegetables). At 15 rupees a kilo, it was quite expensive and as we picked them up for weighing, my eyes fell on a crate that had the squashed, slightly rotten, black spotted on the side, second grade tomatoes that were packed (strewn) in a blue crate. I asked the vendor,"So, what do you do with these?". The answer I expected was, "throw", but the answer I got surprised me and shocked me a little too. It was a nonchalant, "I sell it to hotels. They cant afford 15 rupees a kilo".

Aha, so this is what goes into our sauces, chutneys, red, green and yellow gravies. Once ground, bathed in spices and cooked well with a smattering of good filler (cheap, bulky and tasteless) vegetables nobody will know the difference! Sure there may be hotels that use only good veggies (I hope), but his statement ( and the prevalence of such crates all over the market) gives me very little hope.


Abi said...

Aiyo, Neelakantan,

That tomato chutney that I had this morning at one of the 'darshini's is all over my keyboard, now!

Why do you do this to your readers?!

Ooops! I have to rush to the bathroom, now!

Neelakantan said...

but thats how it is :))