Romancing food is not a new phenomena. Memories become more vivid when we shuffle and reshuffle to fish out the anecdotes related to food. The stories turn out to be so intense that one can instantly taste the flavours lingering in the mouth. Today I am going to chronicle one such memory with my readers.
The other day we were busy in discussing on Chicken Chap over a cup of tea and some lip smacking snacks in the evening. It was raining heavily, the Cable on the TV was showing no signal, so we got a chance to spend some quality time with the Family. I prepared Chicken Chap for lunch that day. So the chitchat taking many tours through the gossip lanes stopped to take a breathe over Chicken Chap. All were in praise of the dish that made me lifted on cloud nine in no time, I decided why not sharing some food stories on this dish. I started first. My memory with Chicken Chap is quite elusive to me. I can dimly recollect the memory of a 9/10 years girl holding her father’s hand, all excited as if some hidden treasure is waiting for me inside Aminia of Park Street – one of the most famous restaurants of that era of Kolkata. Neither I can recollect properly the taste nor the texture. What I can remember the excitement of tasting a dish what is one of my father’s favourite dishes. The New Market area was/is always a treasure trove place for me. Whenever my father used to come to Kolkata, if my school was closed, I never failed to accompany him. And if we were in Kolkata a visit to New Market was a must. I roamed around in amazement holding my father’s hand hours after hours watching the busy cacophonic market life. While wrapping up quickly the works in hand, my father kept on telling me his childhood memories. I can recollect very well my father elucidating his first experience of tasting the Chicken Chap when it was nothing but a fancy dish that could only be found around few areas of Old Kolkata. My father was in his mid-30s, one day on his way back home, he took a detour with his colleagues to Aminia. They ordered for Biriyani and Chicken Chap. Whenever he recollects that memory, I have always seen his face lit up with a joy. My father can’t illuminate the exact taste of Chicken Chap he had tasted so many years back neither I can. But we both know that Chicken Chap has become an integral part of our life from then and it will keep on building up many food stories.
I was looking like a roasted duck in the blistering heat at 41 degree C in front of Miss. Picky Pie’s school. Almost lost at the cacophonic chirping of the mothers busy in group-discussions only on one topic- the pressure of the school and study, I snuggled myself at a cozy corner. A mom suddenly popped in front of me with whom I shared eye contact often, keeping me almost on a gun point started to shower endless questions. The questions were ready to dissect my 35 years of journey in a manner to postmortem my life history. When it came to my occupation, I announced, accumulating all my pride that brightened up my face:“I am a Food Blogger”. A vague look in a fraction of moment brushed the Mother’s face and the look screamed at me, that she didn’t know who a food blogger is!! All the pride fumed off in a second. We both exchanged a pale smile. Thankfully the conversation abruptly lined an end. I was both happy and disappointed. Happy that she uttered those magical words that made me to escape from the noxious blabber but disappointed for how come people did not know who a Food Blogger is!! God sarcastically gave a smile and continued the story when another mom overheard our conversation with her radioactive ears and promptly interrupted – “Oh My!! You are a Food Blogger!!” I, for that moment thought like giving the lady a tight hug and press a deep kiss ignoring her stinky sweaty cheeks. But who knew just after that I would wish for snapping the lady. The lady continues: “How lucky you guys are. You visit so many restaurants and eat for free!!” Holy crap!!