From an interview with the director of Bend it Like Beckham.
P.F: Food is a recurring theme in your work. Is that partly because you, and it’s funny that you said as a kid that you refused to cook, did you just find an outlet for that, or why is food such a recurrent theme in your work?
Gurinder: I think because food is a really great codifier of culture. It is a, it’s a great way of expressing cultural things, you know, what you eat tells who you are. What you don’t eat tells you who you are. What you can cook and can’t cook tells you what kind of person you are. But for me, food is a really good way of getting to grips with who a character is. And I’ve used food very much, as a way of expressing who the mother is and what the daughter doesn’t want to be.
This is why my biggest piece of advice to foreign teachers is: eat the damn food. You will make friends, you will impress people. Rejecting the food is rejecting the culture. Also, do you realize how bad of a reputation people from your program have in Korea? The least you can do is accept a bowl of soup.