Anyone who goes to visit Calcutta knows that it is a must to pick sweets from Calcutta for the folks back home. The sweets (mishti) of Calcutta are legendary. According to Chitrita Banerjee's Eating India, these cottage cheese based sweets owe their origin to the Portuguese who had occupied Bengal in the 1700s. Their love of cheese led Calcuttans to experiment with cottage cheese and come up with the famous shondeshes and roshogollas.
The '3's and '4's in the photo are the prices per piece in Rupees (around ten cents US).
The streets of Calcutta are dotted with sweet shops or 'mishtir dokaan' as they are called in Bengali.
I normally go to a shop called 'Shondesh Mahal' opposite my house. I picked up 40 sweets for office while Kainaz picked up sixty! Both sets got over in a jiffy once we opened the boxes in our office. These are moments when I specially remember my friend Kashi, a regular reader, who would keep SMSing me to get sweets when I would go to Calcutta.
I also went to Flurys quite a few times in this trip. This is a shop started by a Swiss family '5 generations' back. I love their 'cube' pastries. Unlike other cakes which have layers of cream within the sponge, these have layers of sponge within the cream and butter. And they make the best lemon tarts ever which even beat those at the other famous pastry shop in Calcutta, Cookie Jar. The filling of the tarts is ever so soft and melts in your mouth. While the original is at Park Street thy have now opened branches all over Calcutta.
I was also happy to bump into my favourite cookie shop, Cookie Man, at the South City Mall. I just love the soft centre macademia and chocolate chip cookies there.