There’s been a shift in the way the modern Indian consumer perceives food.
We’ve come to discover and appreciate internationally inspired yet 'Made in India' food products more than ever with a newfound passion. The modern consumer looks at food with a focus, whether it is seasonal, superfoods, simplicity, whole grains and whole foods, power of herbs, or rediscovery of old favourites.
This weekend in Kolkata, contemporary Indian talent - across art, design, clothing, accessories and of course, food - comes together at The India Story. What’s most exciting about this is the thought behind it all: within India, food entrepreneurs are using their diversity and innovation to deliver what the modern, educated consumer wants.
If you're in Kolkata this weekend, here are the trends and highlights you should watch out for.
Until a few years ago, gourmet cheese made in India was largely unheard of. Today, the scene is different with artisanal cheese producers creating and reinventing our favourite French and Italian cheeses. At Living Free’s station, choose from La Ferme’s parmesan, feta and more handcrafted in Pondicherry or Spotted Cow Fromagerie’s brie and camembert from Mumbai. Taste the cheeses to discover what you like best before committing. Living Free also has everything else you’d need for an ideal wine and cheese night – cheese boards, relishes and jams, and even chocolate pairings.
Superfood has been the buzzword of healthy food for the past few years and it’s here to stay. Pure Haus has cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices amped up with superfoods like bee pollen and spirulina as well as Indian classic healers like ginger and turmeric. They also have cashew milk, a sweet and creamy vegan alternative to dairy milk.
White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookie Mix. Photo via Facebook
In Kolkata, two new ventures have entered the DIY home cooking meal kit game. One such is Home Slice (formerly Pomodoro), which uses organic ingredients to put together everything you need for a gourmet pizza at home. Choose from their menu and they’ll send you a neatly packaged pizza base (also available in whole wheat), tomato sauce and all the toppings.
In the sweet space, Dessert Palette sells cookies and brownie mixes packaged in mason jars to go in unique flavours like white chocolate and cranberry cookies and 5 star brownies. The simple pleasures of baking and enjoying a home-cooked meal are greater when someone else does all the preparation for you.
Regional Indian food gets a layer of gourmet at Madhouse Pub, The India Story’s in-house bar and snack parlour. Elements of local Bengali favourites are paired with international classics, such as mini savoury profiteroles stuffed with the signature Bengali panch phoron-spiced paneer.
Mumbai’s Papacream is in town, featuring nitrogen ice-cream in a variety of flavours from mint chocolate chip sorbet to strawberry to lemongrass. Nitrogen ice-cream’s USP is that it freezes rapidly with fewer ice crystals forming so that your ice-cream is creamier than ever. Papacream’s ice-cream is packed with flavour and the perfect antidote to October’s second summer.
At Out of The Box, Paris Café’s Pop-Up at The India Story, take home and experience simple ingredients enhanced. All it takes is a sprinkling of herb or garlic salt or a dollop of their house-made lavender butters to take a homemade meal to the next level.
Find these eateries and more at The India Story in Kolkata this weekend October 21 to 23 0at Swabhumi. Some products are also available across India.
The author recently moved back to India after studying at the University of Michigan and working at Goldman Sachs in New York. She shares recipes and travel tips on her blogThe India Edition.