The Food Critic
Lahore’s celebrated food scene was embroiled in crises yesterday as a samosa vendor was arrested for failing to ‘poison’ his customers.
According to witness reports, patrons of Brown & Ganda Samosa Wala, had been enjoying delicious, disease-free snacks for many weeks. The police finally swooped when a man complained that he hadn’t experienced his post-meal vomiting session after visiting the establishment.
Javaid Somoro, the owner of the shop will be remanded in custody until his bail hearing.
Late last night, his brother-in-law spoke to reporters outside the family home in Feroz Market. “We are numb with shock and grief. There is no way to explain what has happened. Javaid has not washed his cooking utensils for six months”, he said.
Anwar Hashmi, a once loyal customer, disputes this.
“Everything about him had become so neat and clean. He even began washing his hands before dealing with the food. Totally disgusting. Thank God Lahore is not short of contaminated eateries. I treat my taste buds elsewhere now’ he said.
Street food hawkers throughout the city are worried that the incident will cast a shadow over what they consider one of the most vibrant aspects of the city’s culture.
“We Lahoris are rightfully proud of our culinary traditions. Our food is made with plenty of love, care and bodily fluids. It would be a shame if the bad practices of one individual cast a blemish on us all.”
Others though did not share the pessimism. Majeed, the owner of a fried fish stall in Ichra, is not concerned.
“I don’t think people will stay away. I’ve been serving my fish with at least two strains of hepatitis for close to twenty-five years. My customers know they can trust me.”
Representatives of the Food Standards agency were unavailable for comment because Pakistan does not have one.
The writer can be reached on his twitter account – @usman_ahmad82.