Cultural diversity is an amalgamation when people collocate, bond, and extend friendship to learn about each other. A cuisine spread adds colour and spice to life. 
As a student in Texas, US, whenever I was invited to a potluck, I had a few signature dishes – time-tested and appreciated by friends. Potato-onion mashed and seasoned qualified as a teaser appetiser, lemon rice with a generous seasoning of fried peanuts, egg curry for gravy, and fruit salad for dessert were a few that I had experimented with and mastered.
As a fresh graduate of a business school, my first job was with a biotech company in Houston. The diaspora there was diverse — my colleagues were from Mexico, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Europe, and many states of India, which led to the introduction of an ethnic variety of gastronomical significance. With the locals being a mix of African Americans and Caucasians, the local fare was abundant too.
Diversity was something to be seen to be believed. The spread was displayed along the four walls of a big hall. One lost count of the number of items. A small display with the name of the dish, with a red or green dot, usually led to an afternoon of lively discussion.
It was at this point I got deeply involved in a conversation with a Japanese-origin colleague hailing from Hawaii. He had introduced me to raw oysters after a recent trip to attend a scientific event, and demonstrated live how to savour it. 
Then Dr Lee spoke about his dish for the day – kimchi. He explained the Korean dish made with cabbage soaked in salt and vinegar. This was stored in earthenware and kept buried in the ground. Like with fine whiskey, the longer the bury time the better! A staple Korean dish in its origins, it shares some disputable lineage with Japanese culture. He introduced this exotic dish to me in exchange for my straightforward fruit salad with mild seasoning. The touch-and-the-feel of a morsel of Kimchi for the adventurous foodie in me transformed my existence.
True to a Kannada proverb, which roughly translates to “hot ghee in the mouth can neither be swallowed nor spit out”, the cabbage marinated on my tongue as my taste buds did a breakdance. The extensive saliva in my mouth made this quite a mouthful – not forgotten to this day by my ageing brain cells.
An experience worth its weight in gold. As a matter of fact, an out-of-the-world experience with a kimchi konnection!
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