Mmmmm, samosas…

I’m sitting in my classroom, proctoring an exam over lunch, and I’m hungry. Then I read that that Donald Trump was in India, and his host prepared a special lunch by an award-winning chef of vegetarian Indian food, and ol’ Tubby McDrumpf spurned it all. Didn’t take a bite. I mean, they made samosas for him…and right now I’d kill for a samosa. They made an effort to provide some American-style foods, like apple pie. Nope. I guess his idea of great cuisine involves mass produced gunk that sits under a heat lamp for a while.

It’s embarrassing. I was brought up to think it was simply good manners that if you were a guest, and you were offered food, you would taste it and you would at least try to appear as if you liked it, that it was an insult to reject your host’s offer. Yet there he goes, turning his nose up at vegetarian food.

Although I’m insulted back by this line from the Telegraph.

Mr Trump is infamous for enjoying a classically American diet, featuring cheeseburgers, Diet Coke, well-done steak and ice cream among his favourite dishes.

Trump does not consume a “classically American diet”, and while you could argue that cheeseburgers are a common item, “well-done steak” is a tasteless abomination that True Americans™ do not eat. Many of us do not object to vegetarian food, and I at least appreciate Indian food. Many of us are true polygluttons.

Hey, could one of you swing by the lecture hall with some curry right now?


  1. Kaintukee Bob says

    The more veggies he eats, the further he gets from his inevitable ‘medical event’ terminating his pr*sidency. If it weren’t dragging America’s perception through the mud (more than it already had been) I’d be all for him sticking rigidly to his ‘Butter, Beef, ‘n Beer’ diet.

    Also, toddlers act out unpredictably when hungry. I wonder how his Twitter was for a few hours afterwards?

  2. microraptor says

    I’m honestly not sure how different a cranky, hungry Trump’s twitter would be different from usual.

  3. =8)-DX says

    @Kaintukee Bob #1

    ‘Butter, Beef, ‘n Beer’ diet.

    However much of a shitstain he is in almost every other aspect of his life, Trump is a teatotaller and doesn’t touch beer or any other alcohol, (blaming it for the death of his brother.)

  4. wzrd1 says

    @1, that is black heresy and a sacrilege!
    How dare you even suggest, however obliquely that the God-King, Emperor Trump were a mere human?
    Seriously, how do you confuse compost for a human?

    @PZ, don’t get me started on the sheer volume of US citizens who proclaim proudly to be either carnivores or as bad, “only eat meat and potatoes”.
    As for steak, yeah, American beef is essentially tasteless. Had Australian and New Zealand beef that tasted a lot better and Pakistani, Egyptian and other smaller nations beef was also quite tasty!
    Still, I far prefer lamb to beef…
    Sorry that I can’t drop off a bite to eat, were we geographically close, I’d likely drop something off to eat, we always keep something on hand should a sudden need arise, such as an unexpected guest. Leftover dinner goes into my lunch.

    @3, I’ve heard that he’s a teetotaler and that was our observation when we met at a Chamber of Commerce shindig, but that doesn’t explain his occasionally slurred speech.
    Still, the less he drinks, the more there is available for me. ;)

    Oh, PZ, I could always mail you some fine saffron tea. It’s extremely tasty!

  5. Ed Seedhouse says

    @3:”Trump is a teatotaller”

    So he says. Seen any third party evidence that this claim is true?

  6. says

    Classically American meal:

    an appetizer of focaccia with a sumptuous, tahini-and-garlic heavy hummus and a selection of cheeses, then a spring roll with jerk dipping sauce, a small cup of some mild dal, a green salad with heirloom tomatoes, shallots, and shiitake mushrooms, and a main course of Nasi Goreng over a Thai black rice-Minnesotan wild rice mix paired with Chilean red wine. Scotch and german chocolate cake for desert, of course, with fresh mango, crystalized ginger, and chocolate covered baobab for Aliana & Knute.

    Or 17 samosas, a bowl of tamarind chutney, a supersize mug of tea, and an 8-inch think stack of papers to grade. That works too.

  7. says

    Mr Trump is infamous for enjoying a classically American diet, featuring cheeseburgers, Diet Coke, well-done steak and ice cream among his favourite dishes.

    Wow, that makes American food sound boring.

  8. says

    A samosa is no sheep’s eyeball. Unless, I suppose, it’s a sheep’s-eyeball samosa. Which would be way too squishy after frying anyway, probably leaking all over… which just might explain some of the dodgier examples I had in north London…

    I’ve cheerfully eaten the sheep’s eyeball when offered by a tribal leader. (It helped that I was smart enough to have had two ice-cold virgin Bloody Marys just beforehand… because I knew what was coming.)

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    … they made samosas for him…

    Did anybody explain that this was not a meal based on the former dictator of Nicargagua or his immediate family?

    … a classically American diet, featuring cheeseburgers, Diet Coke, well-done steak and ice cream…

    Bloody Brits – they didn’t mention the ketchup!!!

    If Modi had offered Dolt 45 a cheeseburger &/or “well-done” steak, the ensuing riots would have totally eclipsed the mere two dozen killed by hyper-Hindu Islamophobes recently.

    I wonder if they keep a stack of Big Macs on AF1 when ferrying the Prez* to benighted heathen lands where such necessities aren’t readily available.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Think I’ll have a coconut curry (frozen entree) for dinner tonight. That means my meals for the day, while not vegan, fall into ovolacto vegetarian. Much better than our would be autocrats diet.

  11. hemidactylus says

    My only issue with Indian cuisine is that I don’t understand it. I have no frame of reference. I met a friend a few years ago at an Indian place that had a lunch buffet and it seemed pretty cool overall. I didn’t try the goat curry though. Goat just seems to be an odd thing to eat. Never liked lamb. But there are lots of vegetarian dishes.

    I think my preference in curry is Thai or Malaysian. I used to eat at a Malaysian place years ago and they made a green curry that would make me sweat buckets. After a while they stopped being concerned as much for my well being and turned up the heat. Wow! That and the kimchi they would give me as a free side because they made it for themselves and it was not on the menu. The Thai/Malaysian curry appeal for me is in the soothing coconut undercurrent. Does Indian curry have that?

    A friend of mine and his wife took me to an awesome Thai place that got me hooked on Pad Woon Sen. I never looked back. Not much of a Pad Thai fan anymore after that. And I like the fermented fish sauce (if it doesn’t smell too much like dead festering in the sun frog). A friend and I happened upon a tiny mom and pop Thai hole in the wall wandering around aimlessly one night. Pad Woon Sen wasn’t on the menu but after I inquired they were so impressed I knew about it they made it for me. The fish sauce disgusted my friend to my amusement. Good times. Would love to see Trump‘s reaction to eating some hardcore Thai fish sauce.

    A Korean girlfriend got me into kimchi, bolgogi, mandu, and an odd soup of eel and squid her mom’s friend surreptitiously sprung on me.

  12. Ridana says

    10) @ Pierce R. Butler: If they had told him samosas were named in honor of a dictator, he would’ve stuffed his face with the whole plate.

  13. jrkrideau says

    But they were samosas with an unorthodox combination of broccoli and sweetcorn!

    I love brocceli and corn but in a samosa?

  14. jrkrideau says

    Oh, forgot to say that even broccoli and sweetcorn samosas do not excuse the shocking rudeness of the Trumps.

  15. petesh says

    hemidactylus @12: India has several different cuisines, generally speaking regional, so the unwary may discover, for example, something much hotter than previous experience lead them to expect, or indeed vice versa. The variety of food (and people) is amazing, though it really shouldn’t be surprising — it has about 4x the population of the US. Trump, however, is a tasteless moron with no manners.

  16. says

    I’m fairly carnivorous myself and I’m put off by Trump’s dietary preferences. Also, has he not heard of the “three bite rule”? You’re offered a new food, you take at least three bites and give it a proper try before deciding if you like it or not.

  17. hemidactylus says

    Samosas seem, after reading some about them, pretty appealing to me so I have no idea what the fuss is about. I bet they go well with chai tea, which I’m very fond of but embarrassingly that exhausts my shallow knowledge of Indian cuisine. I’ve eaten frozen Amy’s Indian Palak Paneer which I assume doesn’t measure up to home or restaurant prepared versions.

    I have eaten Saffron Road frozen food which is halal. I wonder if Trump would eat that. On their website I notice Crispy Samosas with Vegetables is an offering. Maybe I should look for it along my frozen food aisle to spite our crap-stain POTUS.

    I have been eating frozen packaged maduros by Goya for a breakfast side lately. Amazing. Being Latinx palate oriented they must be verboten in the MAGAverse.

    Now I’m eating to spite Trump.

  18. cartomancer says

    I get that there is a cultural politeness thing about food at diplomatic functions, but I don’t see why we need to condemn Donald Trump for what he likes to eat. To be honest, my food preferences are very similar (though I don’t like tomato sauce on my fully cooked steak, and my coke is the full sugar version), and I am sick and tired of people thinking that it’s any of their business what I eat, or that it somehow reflects on my character. Trump would be just as awful whatever he liked to eat or drink. A wine-swilling vegan Trump would still be a dire excuse for a human being.

    Indeed, I find it much ruder to judge someone on their food preferences than to refuse to eat something you have just been presented with because you don’t like it. I wouldn’t presume to serve someone food I liked without confirming that they liked it too. That’s true rudeness – to presume that your tastes are something others must be exposed to simply because that’s what you like. To presume that your culture’s food is necessarily to the taste of someone from another culture. Would we condemn this the other way round, if Modi refused to try a typically American meal of burgers and hot dogs? It’s not as if Trump’s dietary preferences are unknown to the world, after all.

  19. hemidactylus says

    @10- Pierce R. Butler

    Ketchup on steak? That is an affront to good taste. Ewww!

    Hemi Edict #1- No steak shall be eaten unless Cuban style, beaten silly with a mallet, and marinated in sour orange as San Lazaro intended and sided with yucca fries. Ketchup banned.

  20. chuckonpiggott says

    The samosas where a mix of broccoli and corn. Not the potatoes we all love. Everyone said they were awful. Indian press totally trashed them.

  21. schweinhundt says

    jrkrideau @14 & chuckonpiggott @21: I can’t help but suspect that the chef was trolling him by offering broccoli samosas. That said, I’d at least try one if it were given to me.

  22. unclefrogy says

    what ever he ate he came home without a trade which was one of the major reasons he went in the first place though he did OK a weapons deal.
    I wounder what he felt like being treated so well by someone who really thinks he is of a superior race to his white European one.
    I wonder how all of his legal problems effected and are effecting his ability to “make deals” with other countries. I doubt that many of them are as easily fooled as the fix news crowd or the maga hat dolts. What ever his bragging says he does not seem to be the “supper deal maker” he claims cause I ain’t seen supper deals.
    uncle frogy

  23. unclefrogy says

    fox news not fix news, though news by itself associated with fox is a bit of a stretch
    uncle frogy

  24. says

    cartomancer @19

    Would we condemn this the other way round, if Modi refused to try a typically American meal of burgers and hot dogs?

    The three-bite rule applies equally across the board, so I sure would condemn it.

  25. says

    If Modi looked at the itinerary in advance and told the White House that his religion ruled out eating cow, but that he was happy to sample other delicacies of US cuisine, then I would expect him to try everything that didn’t have cow.

    If he was allergic to peanuts and specified that in advance, I’d expect him to try everything that didn’t have peanuts (or peanuts and cow). That, of course, leaves lots of room for pulled pork or milk shakes or bagels or fortune cookies – any number of dishes that were invented or made popular in the US. Maybe he won’t like it all, but I’d expect him to try it.

    Me, if I tell someone that I’m vegan before a birthday party and they hear that I’m allergic to dairy (which I am, mildly) and get so focussed on animals and dairy that they forget that eggs are not vegan, then I politely eat a small slice of the cake with egg in it. I’ve actually done exactly this, lots of times. IN fact, politely eating cake that I would never eat for myself because I want to acknowledge the effort people put into making a cake without dairy is almost certainly my 2nd largest source of non-vegan food I’ve consumed over the last 25 years (the only larger source being sushi, which I, bad vegan that I am, will occasionally eat just because its yummy and nutritious and available … though I’ve made it more than 2 years since my last bit of raw fish).

    When someone makes a special effort, so long as they don’t actually run afoul of my dairy allergy, I expect myself to suck it up and eat it. After all, killing animals to throw away animal based food is even worse than killing animals for food. Also? It’s just fucking polite.

    So, yeah. Modi would be held to a high standard, but it’s not without exceptions and fuzzy margins. If Trump didn’t want to eat certain things, I’m sure he could have expressed that through the State Department and the meals would have taken that into account.

    What I suspect happened was that he was told that if it was a mere preference, not something religious or an allergy or a very small number of foods that you idiosyncratically hate (not merely don’t like much, but hate), he should suck it up so as not to offend India or get a reputation as a difficult guest. So he didn’t submit a list, and then he acted the difficult guest anyway. It was a stupid way to handle the situation.

  26. methuseus says

    I don’t care if you eat what other people put in front of you. I do expect a politician to make a try at eating what another culture gives that. That is basic diplomacy. Although I would give a pass if the person were kosher or halal and we’re offered pork, or Hindu and offered beef. At least I think Hindus have a proscription against beef. I may be wrong.

  27. lochaber says

    Honestly, I think most here are giving orange asshole way too much credit.

    I think he was simply being a close-minded, incurious, oblivious, fuckwit. I really doubt that anything regarding “manners” or “diplomacy” ever entered his head, and he simply was offered food he was unfamiliar with, made by people he was unfamiliar with, and by processes he was unfamiliar with. And, it didn’t appeal to him in the slightest, so: “fuck that bullshit, where the fuck are my chickie tendies?”

    Granted, a lot of commenters have brought up some important points about diets and such, but to put things in perspective: this is the same asshole who welcomed some sports teams to a White House dinner, and then put out a spread of aged budget fast food. And as if that wasn’t tasteless enough, he signed on to photo ops showing him standing in front of that assemblage of congealed grease, and displaying it as if he were proud of it…

  28. says

    Trump’s Razor: Assume the stupidest scenario which accounts for all the available facts.

    In this case, I think “the Angry Cheeto just didn’t wanna eat that weird shit” fits the bill.

  29. meateater says

    Trump doesn’t have religious restriction so he could have at least tasted it. But Modi has religious restriction so, offering meat is offensive. Religious proscription should be upheld but not individual choices. Is that the argument here?

    Modi’s Hindu nationalist party has disallowed beef eating for beef eaters too in many Indian states as it would hurt the sentiments of cow worshippers. The vegetarian fascism (which has roots in the caste discrimination as meat(regular) eaters were/are considered impure and the castes involved in fishing and butchery were considered lower in the caste hierarchy and were actively discriminated) is still strong. Families are denied rental accommodation or aren’t allowed to buy houses in certain colonies if they found to be meat(regular) eaters. Modi had gone on record commenting that the meat(regular) eaters have a different mindset (in a negative way) to criticise his meat(regular) eating rival. This type of bias/othering is very common among vegetarians.

    Trump could be a nasty fellow but when it comes to food even a decent vegetarian Hindu(forget about Modi and his followers) could be an asshole. Individual freedom is far greater in your society than it’s in India. It would be nice to consider all the variables when making a statement like religious sentiments should be upheld. When Modi visits the US, the spread should include American favourites too (whether beef steak or beef barbecue) along with vegetarian options. It should be left to Modi’s individual choice to select whatever he wants to eat. Individual choice should trump over communal choice.

  30. brightmoon says

    Dolt 45 . I’m stealing that one. Kimchi is delicious. Steak with ketchup is an abomination, well done or otherwise

  31. Dunc says

    I didn’t try the goat curry though. Goat just seems to be an odd thing to eat. Never liked lamb.

    Goat is way better than lamb.

    The Thai/Malaysian curry appeal for me is in the soothing coconut undercurrent. Does Indian curry have that?

    India is a large, diverse country with a huge number of regionally distinct cuisines, each of which contain a wide variety of dishes, so “Indian curry” isn’t much more specific than “Asian food”. Coconut a common ingredient in the south, particularly in Kerala.

  32. says

    Last time I went to the Desi Bazaar here for some kebabs, I noticed that they have big containers of mini samosas in the freezer. I’m thinking now of making some of those for the St. Patrick’s Day party our Irish music group will have next month. Potatoes are echt-Irish, and there are vegetarians in the group. Each package seems to have 50, and unless I have to deep fry them or deal with each one individually in some way, I’m leaning toward doing it. And getting some mango chutney for them while I’m there. And probably having another order of the kebabs, which aren’t what I was first expecting (skewers with alternating meat and veg), but remind me a bit of gyro meat, only packed onto a skewer and then cooked and served on a bed of rice with some tomato and cucumber chunks on the side, and two sauces to squirt over it. Last time they were maybe out of cucumber and put a cut-up pickle there instead, and I liked that just as much.

  33. says

    Thanks, CD. Not the usual thing I seek out, but I’m now listening to the second one on the strength of the first. Still fretting over the bear here.

  34. says

    Refusing to eat some new food without even trying it is unreasonable. Doing so while you are representing your country as its president is stupid.

    That being said, calling a steak an “abomination” or criticizing other people’s food choices isn’t much better. Each person ought to be free to choose what they want to eat. If somebody likes steak or other unhealthy foods, it is their personal choice.

    Crip Dyke @#26

    I don’t get vegans who obsess over trace amounts of some animal derived ingredient in a food their consume maybe a few times per year. It’s a matter of diminishing returns. A person who eats animal-derived foods in every meal can easily reduce their animal product consumption, and it will have a large impact in terms of how many animals die and suffer pain. But when somebody already consumes hardly any animal foods, then eliminating even trace amount of animal foods gets much harder and harms their social life. The returns are also trivial.

    I mean, one way or the other, it is still impossible to stop causing animal deaths and suffering. Just think about those mice or bugs who are killed, because the person who produced your plant based foods perceived them as pests. Or think about those wild animals who starve to death due to loss of habitat or pollution. In my opinion, killing a mouse, because she is a pest, isn’t any better than killing a chicken for food. Either way an animal suffers and dies.

    the only larger source being sushi, which I, bad vegan that I am, will occasionally eat just because its yummy and nutritious and available

    I don’t think it is reasonable for you to call yourself a bad vegan, I mean, assuming your goal is to reduce animal suffering, you are already doing a pretty good job, thus there’s no reason to feel bad about eating some foods with animal ingredients on rare occasions.

    When someone makes a special effort, so long as they don’t actually run afoul of my dairy allergy, I expect myself to suck it up and eat it.

    There are lots of foods I never buy for myself. Refined grains like white bread or pasta, soft drinks, burgers, hydrogenated fats, etc. unhealthy stuff. But when I am with other people who collectively decide that they want to eat some junk food, I usually don’t even bother making a fuss or complaining. Eating some food I don’t particularly like isn’t going to harm me, and not obsessing over these things makes socializing easier.

    methuseus @#27

    Although I would give a pass if the person were kosher or halal and we’re offered pork, or Hindu and offered beef.

    It’s fascinating that religion-based personal preferences are somehow more valid than preferences that exist for different reasons. That’s not a fair attitude, especially given how religions are bullshit.