Sweet tooth

4th Jul 2016

“I don’t have a sweet tooth” it’s uttered and the listeners are awed. Probably at this moment, the readers too! Such experiences made me really chew over the fact, is it really that weird not being stirred up that much in the name of sweets!

Let me tell you that, I am a Bengali (native of Bengal, India) where sweets fit in an illustrious place of Bengali cuisine. Well, there are always some remarkable sweet dishes in every culture, and Bengal sweets are definitely in an acclaimed position, which I am proud of like everyone else. There is a dessert named ‘Abarkhabo’ means ‘will eat again’. One can guess Bengali’s immeasurable sweet-love from such example. In such situation ‘I don’t like sweets’ can be really traumatizing to someone who knows my origin. Sometimes a ‘what are you, show-off?’ look from people is perceivable too! Well, doesn’t make me disturbed, rather inquisitive!

Is it a stereotype? Bearing this in mind, thought to go over with a fine-tooth comb to investigate this ‘sweet-tooth’ matter!

Its freakish, that such example as mine is a rare find in this matter. Honestly I personally couldn’t track down any yet! Instead I see the insanity towards sweets from people around me really and I keep wondering. There is this sweet dish in Bengal called Rabri, when talked about, it brings water in mouths literally for my cousins,friends and relatives,almost everyone I had such ‘sweet-talk’ with. In the parties or family celebrations, when everyone waits for dessert, I seem to keep losing my appetite. I take a small portion to taste and that’s it “Yes its lovely, a delicacy, but little is enough”.

In another view, when ‘Roshogolla’,’mishti doi’ is “bachchan’ of Bengali desserts, I feel ‘Shondesh’ is bit underrated, having equal flair though! Shondesh is made of Chenna with little sugar. Because the sugar is little, I prefer it among all Bengali desserts. And now when I ponder over, I see there was a famous Bengali magazine during 1910s named as ‘Shondesh’. Hold on, Satyajit Ray’s famous charater Feluda likes Shondesh. Apparently my question is kind of getting a positive direction. Which also means I don’t hate sweets. The funny part is in my cooking, dessert is leading! Sounds paradoxical? Probably not. Else all chefs would have been gulping everything whatever he has just come up with.

In any case, the types of sweets are uncountable in Bengal and so are their innovative names. When ‘Abarkhabo’ is already mentioned, there is another one called as ‘roshochondrika’, a sweeter one is ‘Roshochondrarambha’ (mix of coconut and banana), then there is ‘Chandrapuli’ and many more. Sounds like traditional dance movements (in Sanskrit). But the name which make me twinkle is ‘Manohara’ (meaning: that steals the heart)!!!!

Sweet in Bengali’s kitchen is like ‘O’ sound in Bengali words. Too many but never bland.

Photo of Sweet tooth 1/1 by Soma Dey