From time immemorial the people of Bengal like delicious food. In fact, their fondness for good and delectable food is legendary. Bengali food consists of a lot of fish, lentils and rice. Breakfast could be milk and rice flakes eaten with ‘gur’ or ‘luchi’ (fluffy wheat pancake) with ‘alu dum’ (potato mish-mash). Lunch and dinner are elaborate affairs. The first course is rice and ‘daal’ (lentil curry) with vegetables, pickled mangos and fresh salad. It is followed by rice and meat and yet another course of rice and fish. Great fish eaters, the true blue Bengali is the one who can crunch fish bones without letting them stick in the throat! The ‘hilsa’ fish is a speciality when cooked in mustard sauce.
Bengalis love sweets. A vast array of milk based ‘mithai’ (sweetmeats) originated in Bengal. The light and spongy Rosogulla, the mouth-watering Sandesh are available all over India, but nowhere do they taste as they do in Kolkata. Sweet shops in other parts of the country just have to call themselves “Bengali Sweet House” and their reputation is established. If in Kolkata do try the delectable Mishti Doi (rich, sweet yoghurt).