The Bengal Renaissance of the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw Calcutta evolve into India’s epicentre of drama, art, film, theatre, literature and intellect. This will be proudly confirmed by any true Bengali.
Calcutta is known throughout the country as The City of Joy and it’s residents often refer to it as the Paris of India, such is their connection to the cultural, intellectual side of their home town.
A Bengali’s love of gossip and mockery is unrivalled. Warm, jovial and good- humoured, they make wonderful hosts for visitors to both their cities and their homes. Eating is a way of life in Calcutta, and one can never go far without being tempted by street food or the innumerable cafés, hole-in-the-wall eateries and legendary restaurants in the city. Behind closed doors, even a simple meal in a Bengali’s home becomes a real event. Great company, a backdrop of beautiful music and a seemingly unending supply of Scotch complete the occasion!
Many would argue that Calcutta is the gastronomic capital of India, however the residents of many other cities and states would probably disagree. Which ever way you look at it, India and Indians are obsessed with food and Bengalis are up there at the top of the list.
Bengali cuisine is an eclectic fusion of different cuisines from within and outside India. This is largely due to its complex history and Calcutta, as the state’s capital, is the heart of this. The Turkic rulers of the 13th century, 200 years of British rule, the rule of the Nawabs under the Mughal empire, the Dutch and French colonies of West Bengal, the bakeries of Baghdadi Jews, the late 18th century arrival of ethnic Chinese immigrants and the Marwaris have all left an eternal mark on the state’s cuisine.