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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Nestlé and Ambassador Lodhi launch, “Dining along the Indus”

Nestlé in collaboration with Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi unveils a Pakistani cookbook featuring the best of Pakistani cuisine. Nestlé has published several cookbooks but this holds a special place because this is an effort to popularize a specific wonderful cuisine people are unaware of.

News Desk |

Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, unveiled an authentic Pakistani cuisine recipe book “Dining along the Indus” alongside Helen Medina of Nestlé on Friday.

The book was unveiled at an event jointly organized at UN Headquarters in New York by the Permanent Missions of Pakistan and Switzerland to also mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

A collaborative effort between food and drink giant Nestlé and Lodhi herself, the book was launched at a grand reception and well-received by all present. While the Swiss multinational has published innumerable cookbooks over the years, this work is unique in its promotion of a particular cuisine that is often overlooked but has immense prospects of popularization internationally.

Pakistan has often been described as the Indus civilization. Historians, political scientists and philosophers have attempted finding strengths and weaknesses of Pakistanis in their origins as Indus man. Prominent Pakistani politician and constitutional expert, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan’s book, “Indus Saga” has been read by many academics around the world to make sense of Pakistan’s unique history and place in the world. 

Nestle: Connection with Pakistan

Nestlé Pakistan Ltd is a subsidiary of Nestlé S.A.- a company of Swiss origin headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. It is primarily a food processing company, registered on the Karachi and Lahore stock exchanges and operating in Pakistan since 1988 under a joint venture with Milk Pak Ltd. Nestle took over management from Milk Pak in 1992. For ten years in a row, the company has won a place among the top 25 companies of the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Unlike most Pakistani corporate giants that are either headquartered in Karachi or in Islamabad (in case of Telecoms) Nestle is headquartered in Lahore which has to do with the nature and location of its production facilities. Nestle Pakistan currently operates four production facilities. Two of its factories – in Sheikhupura and Kabirwala – are multi product factories. One factory in Islamabad and one in Karachi produces bottled water.

Nestlé Pakistan now operates the biggest milk collection operation in Pakistan, Currently, Nestlé Pakistan collects milk from an estimated 190,000 farmers spread over 145,000 sq Km’s in the province of Punjab and Sindh. However it must be borne in mind, that 90% of milk in Pakistan is from un-bottled sources and is often not pasteurized.

Nestlé Pakistan today has also become the leading Food & Beverages Company in Pakistan with key focus on Nutrition, Health and Wellness and reaching the remotest of locations throughout Pakistan to serve the consumers. Ever since 1867, when Henri Nestlé invented the first infant food, nutrition has been Nestle’s core strength.

Dinning along the Indus

With its beautiful illustrations that took several months to complete, the book project, “Dining along the Indus” seeks to charm not only United Nations officials, but the 192 member countries who will receive the work as a gift.

Instrumental in commissioning the project and giving it creative direction, Lodhi said that she undertook this task for the benefit of the global community. In addition to indigenous recipes, Nestlé’s book also commemorates Pakistan’s diverse cultural heritage with its candid and colourful depictions of a country that is rapidly modernising in harmony with its ancient roots.

“Thus the influences of several civilizations have left a deep imprint on Pakistan, a crossroads state, where an exciting fusion of such cultures has informed Pakistani life including its culinary heritage.” Lodhi said.

Read more: How is Nestle Pakistan Empowering Dairy Farmers?

In addition to Lodhi, and Swiss Ambassador Jurg Lauber the event was also attended by Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, the president of the UN General Assembly. Speaking at the event she passionately reminisced about her recent visit to Pakistan. “I fell in Love- with the people, the landscape and the food. So you can be sure that this book will be prioritized on my reading list,” she said.

The 148 page book project seems consistent with the new PTI government’s efforts to promote a soft image of Pakistan abroad by investing in advertising, tourism infrastructure and collaborations with social media influencers.