One specific trait that joins us all as Calcuttans is an intense love for food! Be it just because you like to stuff yourself silly to the point where you can’t even get up properly, or if you like to enjoy different types of food never had before, we just love our food!
So when the State Govt. had organised a special food fair, it was but natural that I pay an obligatory visit.
However, due to our own group’s organisational mishaps, it wasn’t until late afternoon that we reached the place, Milan Mela, opposite Science City. We were greeted with a menu card which showed us what was being served at snack time:
In a city full of food lovers, you surely wouldn’t expect anyone to miss a chance like this to try different types of cuisines. When we entered Hangar 1, it was pretty crowded for what would have otherwise been a lazy afternoon. As soon as I entered, I started taking mental notes on which stalls to earmark.
As we were really hungry, we dashed to a stall to try out some Devilled Quail Eggs:
Now, about this…while it was enjoyable, I did hope I was able to taste the difference between a Quail Egg and any other normal egg, given that we had paid Rs. 50 for this. It still however, was a good way to start our eating spree.
It’s fun to note that the majority of people, in spite of being exposed to various options, still chose to go for Biryani and Chaanp. That day was the day I witnessed the average’s Kolkattan’s devotion to Biryani.
We went to the “Continental Catering Services” booth and had ordered these items: Lamb Chilli Coconut Curry, Fried Fish with Coleslaw and Quail Curry. The Lamb curry was spectacular, but while the gravy was so lip-smacking that I was literally using my fingers to savour every bit, I never got any flavour of coconut. The Quail , on the other hand was extremely tough to chew on, as it had been overcooked to the point of no return. The Fried Fish was lovely, however, I wished they had given some mayonnaise on the coleslaw.
But while each dish had highs and lows, one dish in particular was a real disappointment:
As Pork Chops were rarely available at a cost of Rs. 150, we took the chance to sample it. The Chop itself was close to 60% fat, 30% sinew and 10% meat. The sauce it was cooked in was nice to taste, but really was no respite from the blob of hard, chewy fat itself.
In the International Hanger, under the Russian booth, they were selling Blinis, light pancakes which could be savoury :
Blinis were marked as a MUST-TRY on my list. And I don’t regret that one bit.
While slightly on the costlier side, given the quantity, they really were spectacular.
One of our group was searching for a Fish item, which lead to us searching outside the Hangars, as the Seafood stalls were located in that area. Eyeing a rather pretty-as-a-picture Firni bowl, I strayed away from the search to get it:
Eventually we found a place that sold Bhetkir Paturi (Fish in Mustard marinade wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed). That dish had made my day for me. The fish was really flaky and soft to eat. I only wished I had found it sooner.
Despite a few flaws in some dishes we tried, the experience, as a whole, was enjoyable. As of now, I’m eagerly awaiting the next such fair to be organised just to try out the various foods yet on my must-try list.