Childhood and adolescence seem to be another country. Our identities are formed then. Simple things like what we ate or wore, the places we visited, become landmarks in our memories. The neighbourhood Desi mithai shop holds many sweet memories. Here, in a personal account, the scribe anguishes the closure (read death) of a mithai shop. With it, a part of her ‘self’ is lost too.
I often feel that Desi mithai should rebrand itself as heritage delicacies or something! Another mithai (sweet) shop shuts down in my locality while another yogurt/ cupcake / donut place opens up. Mithais have heritage value too, not just properties, jewellery & art.
When places like this shutdown, they take away a little bit from your best memories.A bit of India has been lost to the younger generation. The Millennials want chocolates, donuts, cupcakes, cheesecakes and not the traditional desserts.
I have fond memories of Dahi-jalebi, Samosas and Kachoris, ritually arriving at our home, especially on Sundays. Imperatively, when all cousins gathered during summer vacations. How we fought for the last piece of the jalebi – Food, fun and frolic! The Gulab Jamuns were so soft, that they would melt-in-the-mouth.
Indian cuisine is known throughout the entire world as a sweet cuisine and this tag doesn’t come along without a reason. How else would you describe a country’s cuisine if almost half its dishes are either sweets or desserts! Culinary secrets have been protected and handed down over the generations and our food is based on truly authentic recipes.
Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism have played a role in introducing certain foods to our country.
The globalisation of food means that I can eat at any number of Japanese or Italian restaurants in my country but I should be hard-pressed now to taste sweets that have been a part of my growing up. How I wish it to be different!
Photo Credit: Net