Eating Tobacco in Goa
I recently had a business trip to Goa which is quite possibly the best place in all of Asia to eat and smoke. One of the more interesting, and oddly enough tasty, things I had was tobacco based foods. I recall hearing that something like 20% of all tobacco consumed in India ends up in various foods and I can believe it. I got to have the ever famous dish called Paan which is basically a mix of betel nuts, tobacco paste and a delightful array of spices but a couple of other dishes as well. I had a mix of potatoes, peas, fennel and tobacco paste wrapped in dough and deep fried as well as something similar made with onions and bits of pork. Both dishes were amazingly good. Lastly, I had a baked fish stuffed with yams, tobacco paste and a bunch of herbs which also was quite a treat. In all cases the tobacco used was a finely ground leaf mixed with honey which looked to me like any Indian jurak. In all cases he dishes were very enjoyable and totally unexpected to an Occidental palete.