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OPINION: Guacamole, butter & masala.

Photo by RDNE from

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a podcast conversation with two dear friends – one from India and one from France – in which we explored the rich tapestry of flavours that define our respective cultures.

As a proud Mexican, I couldn’t resist highlighting the vibrant palette of spices and ingredients at the heart of Mexican cuisine, from the spicy allure of guacamole to the fiery depths of salsa.

In between the laughter and cultural exchange, however, an unexpected revelation emerged from our French companion: a witty repartee that provoked both amusement and contemplation. As we discussed the iconic Indian masala and the famous French fries (an ironic nod to their origins), our French friend joked that if France had to distil its essence into a single culinary symbol, it would undoubtedly be butter.

At first the joke seemed light-hearted, a whimsical addition to our banter. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised the profound truth of the playful comment. Indeed, butter holds a sacred place in the pantheon of French gastronomy, a silent but omnipresent force that weaves its golden thread through countless dishes, elevating them to unparalleled heights of indulgence and refinement.

Photo by RDNE from

French cuisine, renowned for its elegance and sophistication, owes much of its charm to the alchemy of butter. From the ethereal texture of croissants to the velvety richness of sauce béarnaise, butter imparts a decadence that transcends mere nourishment, transforming meals into symphonies of flavour and texture.

Its versatility knows no bounds, bridging the gap between savoury and sweet, its exquisite embrace adding depth to sauces and desserts alike.

Reflecting on the importance of butter in French culture, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with my own culinary heritage.

In Mexico, where corn reigns supreme and chillies dance with unbridled passion, butter holds a similar place of honour, a humble but indispensable companion in the tapestry of Mexican flavours.

In the end, our light-hearted exchange about butter served as a reminder of the universal language of food, a language that transcends borders and bridges cultures, uniting us in a shared appreciation of the art of gastronomy.

By embracing the diversity of the world’s cuisines, we broaden not only our palates, but also our perspectives. Every dish tells a story, weaving together centuries of tradition, innovation and migration. Whether it’s the fiery heat of Indian curries, the comforting warmth of Mexican tamales or the refined elegance of French pastries, every bite is a testament to the richness of the human experience.

Photo by Charlotte May from
Photo by Polina Tankilevich from

And if you’re curious to hear more about our lively discussion of food and culture, I invite you to tune in to our podcast episode, where laughter and insight abound and butter reigns supreme in the pantheon of French cuisine. Enjoy!

Let us raise our glasses – or perhaps our butter croissants – to the flavours that unite us and the infinite possibilities that await us at the intersection of food and culture as we celebrate the diversity of our culinary heritage.
Buen provecho!

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