Saturday, November 01, 2008

Delicious Snippets…

1st November, 2008

I’ve heard my ancestors had quite a penchant for treating their guests to delicious food, and I seem to have inherited that particular gene! I find it greatly satisfying when someone appreciates the food I’ve cooked, or even something that I’ve recommended. Here are some snippets of such incidents which have given me great joy, and the intention behind posting it here is to create a mass effect – so that anyone reading this also knows my recommendations, and hopefully, will taste them someday (although, since most of it is to be found in Kolkata, it might take the non-Kolkata-residents / non-resident Kolkatans a lot of effort to do so)!

Snippet One:
I think I’ve had the world’s most enticing, delicious and yummy fresh strawberry milkshake in a rather shabby roadside shanty in Pune. This shanty however is pretty famous in the city, and is situated on the Dhole Patil Road, right beside a massive building called The Connaught Place (that’s right, Connaught Place in Pune!). My roommate Mansi introduced me to this intoxicating milkshake, and I in turn passed the infection on to two or three friends of mine – and I noticed with satisfaction that they were as smitten by it as I was, if not more! So much so that the last time we were in Pune to collect our degrees, etc. (it was for two days only – fortunately though, it was in December, the season of strawberries!), we made it a point to have two glasses of fresh strawberry milkshake each day!

Snippet Two:
Months ago, I was very surprised to know on a hot summer afternoon that my colleague Sanghamitra (we’ll call her Mou for short) had never had iced tea. I promptly decided to introduce her to the world’s best natural cold drink. So, in we went to Barista, and had a glass of peach flavoured iced tea each. Mou was so impressed by it that ever since that afternoon, she’s preferred an iced tea over a cola, and yet can’t appreciate the beverage served at any place other than Barista (for which she squarely blames me!), as they seem positively drab compared to the heavenly drink we had in there!!!

Snippet Three:
I had the privilege of introducing Mou to another wonderful place a few days back – the famous Nahoum’s Bakery at New Market. Ever since I was big enough to have cakes and pastries, Nahoum’s was the place my Dad took me to. Nahoum’s has given me the exquisite delight of having delicious cakes and pastries at a time when there was no Monginis, Sugar n Spice or Kookie Jar in Kolkata, and I daresay the items from Nahoum’s taste much, much better! Though we were full to bursting point when we visited Nahoum’s that day, we still could not resist ourselves from having a host of cakes and pastries, and Mou particularly enjoyed the blackforest pastry, which has been a speciality of theirs for long!

Snippet Four:
Ashish had of late been quite smitten by the kochuris (a kind of hand stretched and fried bread, quite popular in India) of a roadside hawker near our office. To my palate, the kochuris were no better than average, and so I decided to treat him to some really good roadside kochuris. And what better place than Shyambazar to look for such things?! It is common knowledge that kochuri, shingara (samosa for some) & jilipi (jalebi to some) form the breakfast of a typical Bengali on a Sunday. Therefore, one Sunday, we drove out to Shyambazar, and went to this place just beside the Duff School, and treated ourselves to some amazing kochuri, aloo-r dum, ghugni & jilipi. I had initially planned to take him to a shop just opposite the Chittaranjan sweets shop, which is by far the best in the locality, but due to some unavoidable reasons we had to restrain ourselves to the second best! The effect however was no less grand – trust me, since that morning, Ashish has not, even for once, praised the kochuris of the roadside hawker near my office!