Friday, March 26, 2010


Serving food in a multi cuisine restaurant, especially in a country with cosmopolitan population can be nightmarish. Take for example India. There are many taboos and food habits that make the job of the Chef very difficult. Pork, onion, garlic, beef, cooking oil used, type of rice cooked etc can both attract as well as drive away customers depending on their food preferences. Same is true with foods served to different religious groups. While Muslims do not take Pork, Hindus detest beef. Similarly Halal and Kosher meats are essential for attracting some customers. Alcohol which is shunned by followers of Islam is used some times in cooking of some foods. Recently such foods being served in the Emirates have attracted the attention of regulatory agencies and guidelines have been issued when such foods are served.

"Khaled Sharif al Awadhi, director of Dubai municipality's food control department, said food containing alcohol could be served on condition it was segregated from other food and clearly labeled, The National reported. "We have found violations where hotels are not clearly stating alcohol content in their food," it quoted him as saying. Awadhi added that alcohol should be handled like other "non-halal products" such as pork".

The stipulation that alcohol comes under the non-halal food category may be a new approach that will insulate the followers of Islam from such undesirable items on the menu. It is a tribute to the progressive thinking of the rulers of Emirates that they do not blindly ban foods on one or the other consideration giving relative freedom to the multi faith community that contributes to the development of the region.


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