|Bartenders from a number of hotels and restaurants compete at the UpperCrust Food and Wine Show. [Image: Official Facebook account of UpperCrust India]|
This year Mumbai’s UpperCrust Food and Wine Show showcased an array of US agricultural products. Products came from all over the US including from California, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. On display were Washington and Oregon pears, Washington Apples, California Walnuts, and Pecans and Cranberries from across the United States. The show was held across 3 days in January and featured 9 masterclasses by chefs specializing in Indian, European, and Thai cuisines. It also included a bartending competition.
The UpperCrust Food and Wine Show was established in 2003 in Bombay by the editor of UpperCrust, a 3 year old food, wine and style magazine. The aim of the show was to introduce people to new international cuisines and products, and to the diverse foods of India. The show is now considered the biggest and most respected food and wine event in India.
In 2015, total US exports to India amounted to $21 billion. Nut and fruit exports to India totaled $606 million and $120 million respectively. For Washington and California in particular, exports to India totaled $1.15 billion and $4.6 billion respectively. Washington fruit and nut exports to India amounted to $103 million while agricultural exports from California to India came to $547 million.
Not only are US products becoming more popular in India, but Indian cuisine is also becoming more popular in the United States. There exist 5000 Indian restaurants nationwide and top Indian chefs such as Vikas Khanna and Floyd Cardoz are being sought out by the likes of Barack Obama, Madonna and Matt Damon.
Tara Duane is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a student at the University of Western Australia