Review: Spice Goddess
I finally got a little quality time with the Cooking Channel so I am attempting to review several of the shows I have not seen. This time around Spice Goddess.
The first thing that jumps out at me watching Bal Arneson is just how hard to understand I find her. It’s her accent I believe. She routinely puts the emphasis on the wrong syllable and it is distracting. I’ve not had problems with Indian accents on other cooking shows so I am guessing that it is something unique to her or the village she grew up in. She does has a very warm smile that makes you receptive to her entering your home. As a writer, Arneson is the author of the nationally bestselling cookbook, Everyday Indian (available at amazon.com) as well as being the National Post-The Appetizer’s West Coast culinary correspondent.
The production quality on Spice Goddess is hit or miss. The cinematography is nice but a little poorly lit at times. The editing on the other hand leaves something to be desired. Some transitions are too abrupt giving the show a slightly amateurish feel. The style is consistent with what I have seen from a lot of BBC cooking shows which tend to have great images of ladies suckling strawberries and vegetables sizzling in a pan but also have very choppy editing.
My main issue with Spice Goddess is the title which implies a show where the host introduces the viewer to spices from all over the world and from varying cuisines. Surely Indian cuisine is famous for it’s use of spices but there are lots of other cultures just as renowned for their use. The show’s name is inconsistent with its culinary point of view; it’s misleading. This is a show strictly about Indian cuisine and I do enjoy how Arneson applies Indian flavors to non-Indian ingredients like salmon and sweet potatoes. I am anxious to see how it stacks up against the Cooking Channel’s other Indian themed show, Indian Food Made Easy with Anjum Anand. Spice Goddess is definitely worth a watch.
I do wonder, with two Indian cuisine shows on the Cooking Channel and possibly another resulting from NFNS 6 on the Food Network, is Bob Tuschman going overboard with a cuisine that most Americans still find unappealing? Only time will tell.