It takes a village to assemble a hamburger

Friday mornings are hectic in lock down. The Family and I are in our separate meetings all morning. There is no time to plan and put together a wholesome meal. So we’ve decided to either order out for lunch, or do a quick lunch that only requires assembly. This Friday we had hamburgers and a salad. Later, when I thought about it, the “quick meal” was such a misnomer. There was such a long chain behind even such a simple thing.

The patties were made by a Bohra couple who’ve risen to new business opportunities out of home, and delivered to us by the husband. The bun was a multigrain bun which we ordered from a small Parsi bakery chain (how it has grown over a decade from a stand alone shop in Colaba!) which has been delivering through an internet startup. I’m sure that behind both these objects was a desperately cobbled-together chain of supplies.

The vegetables came from a farmer in Nashik, who, along with many others, have taken to direct marketing after the collapse of the vegetable exchange which powered Mumbai until March. The mustard (oh! the mustard!) was Bengali kasundi delivered by everyone’s least favourite internet behemoth, and probably has been stocked in one of their warehouses for ages. Fortunately, this has long shelf life. Good cheese has not been available in Mumbai for weeks now, so we had to do without it.

Normally we wouldn’t even notice the web of commerce which brings things across the world. But the Anthropause has disrupted so much of our daily lives, that we now think about every meal. One thing is certain, online marketing has bloomed in this new economic ecosystem, and it is no longer only the large aggregators who gain from it.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

13 comments

      1. haha. πŸ˜€ That’s true. Fine then, this Friday, we shall have a virtual party. I will make kadai paneer, roti and gulab jamun. You both decide what you want to ‘bring’ to the virtual party. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  1. At the end of your post appeared a couple of other posts for me to look at, one featuring dim-sum, rice noodle wrapped around something (I’m imagining shrimp) sitting in a little pool of what I imagine is oyster sauce. Keep the burger πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lunch did turn out to be quite good, despite the meeting-laden morning and day. I did something similar the other day. I called it a burger much to the disapproval of my sister. It had no patti and the stuffing was only cucumber and capsicum with a lot of cheese and mayo.

    Liked by 1 person

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