I grew up in a culture where people indulged in coffee in winter. Pretty much like wearing monkey caps or eating nolen gur (liquid palm jaggery) infused desserts. Rare luxuries. Rest of the 10 months tea ruled the world of Calcuttans. Can’t really remember how I permanently switched to coffee. Must be during those times when all-night studying required extra power. I had started my coffee journey with the classic hand beaten coffee. Mom used to excel in that and she would just use a teaspoon to beat the coffee powder with sugar and a touch of warm milk-water. Not an easy task. It required skills and precision. Besides, Nescafe in those days yielded better taste and aroma than the weak liquid it produces these days. Gradually I parted with milk or creamer in my coffee and started having it black. The taste became refined over the years keeping pace with my lifestyle choices. Now I prefer my coffee (medium-dark roasted beans) black with a sensory stimulating aroma and a strong body with a façade of a fine crema. Less voluminous but not a nude espresso shot. Americano is what they call it, though I upgrade it to long black wherever possible.
“It’s pouring here, guys. Don’t think I can make it” – I texted my friends around 4 pm, feeling a bit guilty because this was the third time I cancelled an adda at Niranjan Agar. The rain god was however not in a punishing mood and cleared the skies giving me ample time to make the journey. I took the metro (underground train), which I was told the most convenient transport for this particular destination. And it was so. It took me under 30 minutes to reach Girish Park Metro Station in North Calcutta from my south Calcutta residence.
The Hungry Heroes – Part 1
Let’s meet the faces behind our favourite restaurants. Let’s know the stories of those people who gave us our favourite burgers, or momos, or kebabs. Why?…. because good food is also about the people and the places. In this particular series, I will focus on those self-made food entrepreneurs and chefs who chased their dreams and followed their hearts. Part 1 features, Swarnaditya Upal Das, the man who created Hondo’s.
Swarnaditya Upal Das, the man behind Hondo’s
Classmates in St. Lawrence School called him Hondo, and the name stayed. So when Swarnaditya opened a food delivery centre back in 2013, the obvious choice was naming it Hondo’s. But what made a young man hailing from a two-generation lawyer family and being a law graduate himself, quit the familiar path and venture into the unknown territory of food business?