If you want to taste a variety of street food, the City of Joy is the best destination, according to a latest survey. In the latest global research ‘Taste of Travel’, Kolkata has pipped Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi to be the best street-food hub in India.
According to the findings of Booking.com , 67% of Indian travellers pick their destination based on the cuisine and food choices a place offers. The study also highlighted that around 49% of Indian travellers are planning to take a dedicated food tourism trip in 2018.
Food enthusiasts from the city are not surprised with Kolkata topping the list. Anindya Sundar Basu, the founder of food and travel blog ‘Pikturenama’, points at how some street food stalls in Kolkata have attained mythical status. Speaking about former British Prime Minister David Cameron tasting moong daal vada at the Chauhan Victoria Vada stall on Camac Street, Basu said: “Despite such a high-profile customer, the stall owner didn’t change anything about the shop apart from highlighting a few photographs of Cameron. The same goes for Chhitto-da’s stall on Dacre’s Lane. Decades go by and they continue serving their specialities in the same ambience to those on a food trail,” Basu said.
According to Anirban Halder, the blogger of ‘Kolkata Curry’, the city is miles ahead of others in terms of diversity of street food. “Unlike other cities, Kolkata offers plenty of options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians,” Halder said. To explain Kolkata’s passion for street food, Halder mentions his survey on the way phuchka is served in various parts of Kolkata. “Besides other things, I found that the north and the rest of Kolkata is divided in the way they want phuchka to be served. While north Kolkata prefers phuchka dipped in very sour tamarind water, the rest of Kolkata want the tamarind water flavoured with a hint of cumin powder.”
Food blogger Indrajit Lahiri, who runs a portal called ‘Mohamushkil – a Bong foodie’s quest’, attributes this edge to Kolkata’s cosmopolitan flavour and love for roadside adda. “This city is a gastronomical melting pot of different communities. Here, people love their addas at street corners. Food, therefore, emerges as an important factor in their daily routine. Hence, we find a lot more variation in what’s on offer on the streets of the city. Kolkata’s kathi roll and telebhaja are famous across the world,” Lahiri said.
The pocket-friendly aspect also adds food for thought. From food across India to Chinese, Tibetan, Lebanese, Mughlai and continental delights — Kolkata street food has something for every platter.
“These include pocket-health conscious to indulgent foodies. Sweets served on the street is an exclusive feature too. I’m sure no Indian city can match Kolkata in this segment,” Halder pointed out.
Source: Times of India