Food is a big part of any culture. Not only is it unique to each region but it also tells a story of food resources in the area. On a journey to tell these indigenous stories Nilofer Afridi Qazi brings us Pakistan on a Plate.
“People don’t consider food an important part of their culture,”
The culinary show covers indigenous stories across Pakistan. So far they’ve covered a wide area in some 38 episodes.
Since this a treat you’ll only find on YouTube, there are no commercial promos in between on which ingredients to use.
People are getting a whiff of historical recipes with Nilofer. The creator of Pakistan on a Plate was actually inspired by the likes of Anthony Bourdain, James Martin or Rick Stein.
The founder of the show is a food enthusiast and runs a YouTube channel, Niloferscorner. This woman is on a mission to draft a culinary map of Pakistan, along with the lifestyles and the stories that came with these flavors.
“Once I make them realize that food is an important part of their cultural history, they get excited and share recipes with me. It is as though they have forgotten their own history.”
Although we’ve only seen 38 of these videos Nilofer has actually filmed over 50, traveling through 60 districts of Pakistan. She continues her quest to cover all 152 districts of Pakistan.
“There are 152 districts of Pakistan to be covered. Why don’t we share the influences, the aroma, the ingredients and the curiosity around food?”
Getting Back To Your Roots
With all the emphasis on story-telling and culinary history, how did Nilofer become an educator for food enthusiasts?
“How many of us know what the people in the far-flung areas of Balochistan eat or, for that matter, the people living in Southern Punjab and upper Sindh? We need to identify the diversity of food.”
It started when she felt the need for people to take more pride in their culinary heritage.
“POAP is a labour of love done for posterity by a foodie, a foreign office kid who has lived in many countries, and who feels that, while people all over the world are proud of their culinary heritage, we don’t value our culinary heritage at all. I would like to make a start by changing that a little bit.”
She started ‘Pakistan on a Plate‘ with her own paternal roots, back in Pishin, Balochistan. From there on out, she covered more of Balochistan and Punjab. She also has a Sindh series coming out soon.
“Culinary heritage needs to be considered as valuable as the monuments, clothes, architecture, weaponry, and jewelry that decode history and culture for us.”
Along the way in 2010, Nilofer approached sponsors from television channels and multinationals to bring professional skills to this food-mapping exercise. Since that didn’t work out, she is free to do what she does best – tell stories about the pure love of food.
We can’t wait to see what the rest of her series has to offer as she continues mapping out Pakistan’s culinary history one flavor at a time!