America’s Love Affair with Indian Food

The Rise of Indian Cuisine in the US

At best, the first appearance of any restaurant serving Indian food in the United States is under-discussed. In a 1921 news article of the New York Times, the influx of European immigrants to the US and them putting up restaurants, in particular in New York, was the main story.

The article only sparingly talked about immigrant cuisines from China and India. Earlier, in 1909, articles in the Chicago Daily Tribune talked about American fascination with India, including its cuisine. It was just the beginning. Food was central to the earliest South Asian immigrants to the Midwest and the East Coast.

In 2010, a New York university based expert on the succession of American ethnic foods talked about Indian cuisine and where it is in the succession line. With every decade, there seems to be an ethnic food trend of its own. In the ’80s it was Japanese food. In the ’90s it was Thai. The first 10 years of 2000 saw the hipsterization of the taco truck. Where is Indian cuisine?

The expert believed that there is a historical basis that Indian food can be as prestigious as Italian food in 100 years. When Italian immigration to the US started in the 1880s, it took a long time to become popular. But if you talk about prestige, Italian cuisine only gained respect in the 1980s, 100 years later. The expert said that it maybe by 2065 for Indian cuisine to reach the level. As far as Indian immigration is concerned, with only 2.7 million Indians in America (2010), it may take a population of 20 million before Indian culture can become everyday culture in the US.

Nation’s Restaurant News predicts Indian food will be one of the biggest trends of 2017. More millennials have a craving for diverse cuisine. Note the increasing popularity of curries, an indication of more adventurous palates. Many upscale restaurants are doing Indian flavors already, addressing the need for high-quality Indian food implying higher prices. The dollar-conscious American may be willing to pay but only for above par food standards.

Diversity and Quality in Bellevue

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