If the aroma of good food brings a smile to your face and lightens up your mood,then Vikram Karve's Appetite for a Soul is your best bet. As the author travels through the streets of Mumbai, Pune and other cities in search of good food, he shares his invigorating experience of food hunting and learning new
. His explorations lead him to some of the rarest cuisines and authentic rustic preparations.
Going by the mantra "there is no love greater than the love of eating", his writings could transform any lay man into a delightful food connoisseur. His experiments with recipes, reviews of some of the oldest restaurants and mouth-watering description of dishes would mark an everlasting image in the minds of the reader.
"Good food must be savoured delicately, slowly, attentively and respectfully, in a befitting manner, with finesse and technique, with relish and appreciation and you will experience true gustatory delight. That's essence of the Art of Eating."
An excerpt from book Appetite for a Stroll by Vikram Karve
Some may feel that it's a wrong idea to live for eating, but writer Vikram Karve has a different theory to offer. "Eating is not just making yourself not-hungry. It is about filling your appetite by having a soul-satisfying tasty food," feels Karve, who follows his appetite rather than following the clock for eating.
Given his taste for rich and spicy food, Karve is often asked about the health aspects of indulging his cravings. "Why neglect the soul while we do so much so for our bodies? I feel, while exercise is good for a healthy body, good and tasty food is neccesary for the soul. So we must strike a balance. I eat good food and I burn it out by walking and exercising. I don't believe in multi- tasking when it comes to food. That is, when I eat, I just think of the food and the taste, and when I m working out, I just think of my health."
Speaking about the book that features food joints and eateries in Pune, Karve says that the city offers a lot to food lovers. "In the 1960s food was quite well defined in Pune. While city area like Peths offered typical Mahastrian fare, the Camp and nearby areas offered Chinese and Iranian food. But now, as Pune takes a turn towards becoming a metro, the boundaries have blended and disappeared. We get the same menu everywhere. However, a few old eateries still promise that same flavour which we relished in that era," recalls Karve.
A teacher by profession, Karve has penned many books and short stories. But the love for good food brought him to share his experience in an entertaining way and at the same time making it informative for people, who can enjoy good food. "The objective behind my writing is infotainment. So that I can not only help people locate the once-famous eateries but also help them realise the importance of good food."
While Karve believes in having wholesome food, he at times, doesn't mind pampering his taste buds with a bite of junk food too. "Bhel is the specialty of Pune. It could be rightly called as the signature dish of the city. While the new populace of the city goes for big restaurants, they might give it a thought to try Pune's all time favourite bhels like - Kalpana Bhel at Saras Bagh, Canal Bhel near Prabhat Road or Kalyam Bhel," he says.
As Karve savours every bite of food offered by eateries all over the city, he, like any other son, loves the menu from his mother's kitchen. "I just love the aaloochi bhaji and masale bhaat that my mother prepares. And my love for good food helps me relish every grain," says Karve.
When asked, if he enjoys cooking as much as eating, he says, "When I got married, one could see more of me, than my wife, in kitchen. But over the years, I have successfully turned my wife into a foodie and we both enjoy food together, be it simple ghar ka khana or a regional delicacy. My wife is good at cooking vegetarian food, while I feel biryani is my forte."
After a great response for Appetite for a Stroll, Karve plans to write more on food and then perhaps also try his hand at writing on other topics. Guess, variety is the spice of life, especially for such a devoted foodie.
Appetite for a Stroll covers Vikram Karve's explorations, eating and foodwalking experiences coupled with vivid photographs and features that are sure to heighten the appetite of readers. His passion and love towards food takes a new dimension that will not only create a niche for himself but also pave way for his fellow foodies.