Wednesday, June 23

The last Jewish bakery of Kolkata

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Kolkata’s New Market is an age-old delight that city-dwellers love to visit. The market, covering a large area first opened in the year 1847 on Lindsay Street, and continues to attract a large number of shoppers. There is one particular store that happens to be the highlight of the place, it is called Nahoum and Sons, or just Nahoum’s. A Jewish bakery that serves centuries old baked delights.

Kolkata has had an incredible past, cosmopolitan, and vibrant. Nahoum Israel Mordecai, much like other Jew families, had moved to Kolkata from the Middle East. These Baghdadi Jews came from Syria and Iraq, settling in British India’s then capital, Calcutta. The bakery that was established in 1902 continues to carry the same interiors, as it has not been changed since then.

Today, with very few Jewish families left in the city, Nahoum’s is a historical landmark that is beloved by all. During World War II, the city had about 5000 Baghdadi Jews, with synagogues, schools, and more. Today, all that has changed, but the love for Jewish sweets has not. Especially during Christmas, the bakery is thronged by city people, who love to celebrate the year-end like no other city in the country. A mix of middle-eastern and Jewish confectionaries make this place a treat for anyone who loves sweets. After all, Bengalis are notorious for their love of sweets.

From behind the teakwood counter of Nahoum’s, the city has been getting its incredible sweet treats for 118 years now, and that is not going to change anytime soon.

If you happen to visit the city in the future, a trip to this historical bakery is a must. The challah bread, and baklavas will surely bring you back again and again. Then, there is the Christmas special fruit cake, which according to Geoffery Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is the best he ever had.

Source: Times of India

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