The City of Joy is now beaming with pride. A new global recognition is making all Bengalis proud.
Kolkata is listed amongst the World’s Best Food Destinations 2023. It is the only Indian city to be listed here. You might be wondering who’s given this award? Eater, a very popular food website in its latest survey for best food destinations has identified Kolkata as an ideal fit for this year to be visited for its sumptuous and mouth-watering variety of food, amongst 11 top global destinations.
It is not just the yummy food that was counted here, but the contest gave great weightage to the people, art, culture, environment and history of food before awarding any city in this prestigious list.
Talking of Kolkata, the Eater recommends that “ You must try the deviled crabs at a mid-century crabs and puchka from a decades old street vendor in Kolkata ”.
Kolkata has a very bustling food scene with the super economical and delicious street food. You can eat your heart out without pinching your pocket. Not just that, you get the finest and exhaustive variety of food at the upscale restaurants and bars. From fish, to kebabs and unique biryanis and the infamous Chinese food, the list is quite endless with the residents eating their hearts out. You name it and they have it.
Kolkata and Bengalis harbor a very emotional connection with their food. They pray with food, dance with food, talk about food and unite with food. Cuisine here is laced with rich history that talks about the influence of so many different civilisations from the Chinese to the Nawabs.
Did you know the Kathi Roll outlets that have sprung across the country were actually and originally made in Kolkata. Similarly the gol gappas or the puchkas that are dotting every street in India are much loved in Kolkata. From Roshogullas to the Kolkata biryani and prawns, the city of joy is a food lover’s paradise. Interestingly, Kolkata Biryani has a rich history behind it. It is said to be invented by the Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah. It still is very distinct in its aroma and flavours from the other biryanis of India.
World’s Best Food Destination award has been bagged by Tamari Makauraua, another name for Auckland this year. This is New Zealand's biggest city. Eater says “when in Auckland, “try gochujang octopus carpaccio at an island vineyard, smoked Japanese quail with a skyscraper view, and cacio e pepe in a former red-light district,”
Asheville in North Carolina has also made to the list. Eater says “ you should not miss out on “spiced lamb sloppy joes at a James Beard winner, and a weekly dinner series focused on chain restaurant knockoffs,”.
Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico. The city has some very interesting culinary offerings. “Green chile cheeseburgers and Christmas chile-smothered enchiladas are among the must-try dishes in the city, suggests Eater.
Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala in Central America, has a unique mix of history, rich culture, location, and great food. “Taste your way through Indigenous Maya dishes, colorful stews, hulking tostadas, and so many tamales in Guatemala City,” Eater opines.
Who doesn’t know England’s Cambridge? “Jiaozi, gelato, long bao, natural wine, Nigerian stews and peerless coffee are among the must-try food items when in Cambridge”, according to the survey
Dakar is the capital of Senegal, in West Africa. “ Grilled prawns on the beach and grilled meat skewers are among the dishes you should treat your taste buds to when in Dakar” , suggests Eater
Next destination here is Halland, a county on the western coast of Sweden. Halland is known for its fire-roasted pheasant, pastries stuffed with wild fruits, and more, says Eater.
Sardinia in Italy is also a famous food destination. “Aperitivo in an olive grove, pit-roasted suckling pig on a farm, and bottarga at a beachside table” are among the food items you should try in Sardinia, suggests Eater.
When in the city, among the many food items you should try are “deviled crabs at a midcentury cabaret and phuchka from a decades-old street vendor,” says Eator.
The capital of the Philippines has a flourishing food scene. . “Catch a merienda drag show, haggle for crabs at a wet market, and taste haute Filipino cuisine in Manila,” the food website opines.
This ancient city is quite famous for its street food. The cuisine here has snails, Vietnamese sandwich com tam ( barbequed pork dish and rice) and hu tiew, a unique soup are great ambassadors of Vietnamese food here.
Richa Jain Kalra is a seasoned editor who has been a leading news anchor on national television for over 18 years. She is a master communicator driven by the purpose of making a positive impact on society.