If you’re curious about the silly made up philosophy behind all of this, this is an excerpt from my friend/ pioneer of oodisha’s blog (that never got off the ground) explaining the concept. His description is focused on food, but oodisha could apply to anything:
“With the many standards of judging food to chose from, none of them were inspiring enough to get me to want to express my opinions and ideas on food to the masses. I decided incorporated a little bit of my own, personal black magic in with the tantalizing taste quotas that exist at large. So, after many nights consuming that illustrious appetite-accelerating herb that college thrust so swiftly into my lungs, I found that it did have something to contribute to my outlook on food other than feeding my insatiable appreciation for chocolate. While many nonsense ideas did come out of that period in my life (which has obviously long since stopped… duh! right?), on valid concept was the spectrum of oodisha. Oodisha symbolizes balance between two extremes of culinary mischief, both easily committed if special attention is not paid to meeting the needs of one’s entire palate. The culprits?
Wry- When something is Wry (adj.), or ‘of the cooking method of Ry’ (noun), this means that the food is prepared using minimalist, WASPy ways. It can be considered bland, overly-simple, one-sided, unsatisfying, or too little quantity of food. My favorite example are those bland tea sandwiches that consist of wonder bread, cream cheese and cucumber. Or something such as a bowl of unseasoned lentils. Very wry. This culinary technique is negatively associated with health purposes, the WASP cuisine culture (not including butter usage), lack of creativity or innovation in the kitchen, or over simplicity due to fear of progressive culinary trials. However, positives of the technique include refreshing or cleansing nature, simplicity to allow singular flavors to express themselves, non-complex preparations, refined demeanor, and quality of product over quantity of food. Wryness can be rated 0-5, 0 being not wry at all and 5 being a bowl of fat free greek yogurt with some unsweetened granola sprinkled on top.
Ungawa - Ungawa (adj, noun) is the other end of the spectrum. Food that is ungawa is prepared in a reckless, over-the-top, indulgent manner. It can by associated with unrefined minority cooking, college-style cooking or certain (or all) fast foods… a prime example being the KFC Double Down. It tends to be greasy, fattening, rich, unrefined, disorganized in preparation and in presentation, a high quantity to quality ratio, confusing, and overwhelming (in flavor combination). Positives of ungawa cooking include high level of tastiness, appealing to innate human food desires (crispy skin on chicken, high-fat or high-carb desires), indulgence, innovation on preconceived flavor notions, high satisfaction and a meal that will keep you full. An ungawa rating of 0 is not ungawa at all, whereas an example of a 5 would be a chocolate dipped fried chicken wing with a a sweet and sour chipotle ranch dipping sauce and a hushpuppy pot-pie with a bacon and grits filling topped with cheese (preferably Velveeta).”