Dalgona Coffee: When Desi Beverages Get Social Media Makeover
Social distancing has sparked a new culinary trend, because locked inside our homes or not, everyone’s got to eat and drink. And so my Insta feed is brimming with photographs of this delectable looking iced coffee called Dalgona coffee. Not only did it look yum, but a recipe for a cool drink with summer almost upon us was also definitely worth looking up. So I quickly googled what all I needed to whip up Dalgona coffee and how, and what do you know, it turned out to be our regular fenti hui instant coffee served over chilled milk. While this specific preparation, of serving whipped instant coffee with chilled milk, is a South Korean beverage, this had me wondering, why do we only begin to fuss over desi beverages, when they come back to our country, repackaged as a food or social media trend? Haldi Latte, Virgin Mojito anyone?
THE SOCIAL MAKEOVER?
- Dalgona Coffe seems to have caught the attention of the world practicing social distancing.
- Easy to make, gorgeous to look at, Dalgona coffee is the beverage made for our Insta feed.
- But if you look at the recipe, it is nothing but fenti hui coffee over chilled milk.
- Why do we shower attention and love our desi beverages only when they come back with a new identity on social media?
- Turmeric Latte and Virgin Mojito anyone?
This isn’t the first time I have felt disillusioned by a viral beverage that has caught the world’s fancy. My ma’s remedy for body ache and cold; the humble haldi dudh with a piece of gur, got repackaged into turmeric Latte. The refreshing summer drink, shikanji, and what many of us grew up drinking, anti soda (soda bottle blocked with a marble that opens with much theatrics, that most children fancy, and is served with lemon juice and masala) is sold across restaurants as Virgin Mojito. The same blokes who gagged at the mention of haldi dudh are now forking out money enthusiastically for turmeric latte. And then there is this abomination called chai tea latte. For someone who loves her kadak adrakwali chai, the soul cries at this atrocity.
Why do we only begin to fuss over desi beverages, when they come back to our country, repackaged as a food or social media trend? Haldi Latte, Virgin Mojito anyone?
Repackaging and rebranding of stuff is nothing new, but I think social media and globalisation have played a big role in the reincarnation of many food items that were once taken for granted but are very popular now. In this case, what goes around, does come around, but with a different identity and a heftier price. Does this mean that we shouldn’t give in to social media trends? No, under current circumstances especially, when social media is both our window to the world outside and a dynamic space in what may seem like a stagnant life, these little escapes could be beneficial. So what if we had fenti hui coffee first? We certainly didn’t have it with chilled milk. And if elders are to be believed, turmeric can boost your immunity; something each one of us needs desperately right now. So if calling your haldi dudh a latte makes it easier for you to swallow it, then so be it. Does having a glass of Virgin Mojito (rather shikanji) add an interesting twist to your daily mundane meals? Then go for it!
With no escape from panic and anxiety these days, we are all in need of distractions and little somethings that’ll cheer us up. So whip up that instant coffee and pour it over chilled milk. Take a picture and upload it on social media if you have to. You have milk, you have coffee, you have internet. Despite being in a lockdown, these are things to be thankful for and thus to be used to their fullest.
The same blokes who gagged at the mention of haldi dudh are now forking out money enthusiastically for turmeric latte. And then there is this abomination called chai tea latte. For someone who loves her kadak adrak chai, the soul cries at this atrocity.
Picture Credit: BBC The views expressed are the author’s own.