WATCH: After visiting Burns Road, US Ambassador Blome 'decides' to move to Karachi

US ambassador, known for his keen interest in local cultures, indulged in street's most celebrated dishes

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This screengrab of a video released on June 8, 2024 shows US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, enjoying food at Karachi’s Burns Road food street. — US Consulate General Karachi  

KARACHI: In an surprising yet delicious turn of events, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, paid an engaging visit to Karachi’s storied food street, Burns Road, and feasted on its legendary bites. 

The US ambassador, known for his keen interest in local cultures, indulged in some of the street's most celebrated dishes, including the iconic Nihari, grilled chicken boti, Rabri, special falooda, and a refreshing cup of karak (strong) tea.

The video of Ambassador Blome’s visit, which is part of the US Consulate's food diplomacy policy, went viral. 

His passionate ad-lib feedback to the classic flavours of Karachi was at best tastefully honest as he relished the rich, aromatic Nihari, a dish, having roots in the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan’s kitchen, and holds a special place in the hearts of foodies across Pakistan. 

The experience left the ambassador so taste-stricken that he humorously remarked about moving to Karachi to enjoy the culinary pleasures of this melting pot of diverse cultures regularly.

“So far, the best meal I’ve had in Pakistan, honestly," the ambassador said. "I’ve made a decision. Alright. This. I didn’t know about this before. But I’ve decided to move to Karachi. Yeah. I am coming doing here. And I am going to stay.”

The zingy atmosphere of Burns Road provided the perfect backdrop for this offhand cultural give-and-take. 

People on the street, vendors, and eaters were thrilled to find the US ambassador mixing up with them, engaging in friendly chit-chats and sharing their sheer love for the city’s delicious food. 

Blome's arrival there created a buzz, with people eagerly lining up to meet him up close and exchange candid pleasantries.

Though it bears no semblance to any street from the colonial era, the famous Burns Road derives its name from a British spy-doctor Mr James Burnes, who served the Raj in the first half of the 19th century in Sindh.

Host to the hottest as well as the oldest food haunts in the city, the road, at one time, was the centre stage for many movements that shaped the country’s political history.

The visit, organised by the US Consulate, played up not just the rich culinary heritage of Karachi but also the warmth of its hospitable dwellers. 

This informal yet meaningful interaction laid bare the potential of food diplomacy in bridging cultural divides and cultivating mutual respect.

After a satisfying food tour of Burns Road, Ambassador Blome departed, hoping to return to leave no food offered by this legendary food street untasted.