What is the tastiest food you have ever eaten? Well, I certainly can’t forget some dishes. They made an unforgettable mark on my taste buds. It’s not that I start salivating when I think about them, but I certainly remember them with a certain fondness. They say best things in life are unexpected and so it happened with me.
LUNCH IN SONADA:
I was travelling to Darjeeling with my parents in the year 2002. We got down at Sonada which is about 20 kilometers from the famous hill station. Dad knew a few people at the novitiate there so we tagged along with him. The novitiate was located on a hill slope. A thin veil of fog covered the basketball court outside. It was afternoon and yet there was no sign of the sun. We were hungry and one of the Salesian fathers led us to their cafeteria.
The beef I ate there was out of this world. Soft and succulent, my taste buds relished every piece of it before swallowing. I don’t know how they prepared it. It wasn’t spicy (which is the way I like) but it had an incredible taste. It wasn’t fried as much as I can remember. I have asked mom to prepare beef in that particular fashion but she never perfected it although once she came fairly close. May be it is something to do with the altitude of Sonada and the air pressure there.
DINNER AT A PUB IN SALUGARA:
It was my friend’s birthday. We went to this small pub in the northern edges of my home town. I was not sure what to expect in that place. The waiter, a young Nepali boy served us plates of “chilly pork”. I am not a big fan of pork. Although, in my childhood days I used to have plenty of it at my aunt’s place. It usually contains lot of fat and I had grown out of it eventually. This preparation seemed different. They had removed the extra fat and the garnishing of onions along with the spices made it yummy. It was better than any chilly chicken I had eaten before. I have not eaten much pork after that except for pepperoni on countable number of occasions. That has been the tastiest pork yet.
I was with my parents again as we strolled through the crowded Hill-cart road. The Durga Puja celebrations were in full flow. The drums were beating loudly from the various pandals. The strips of decorative lightings hung over the roads and the bamboo structure with lighting patterns marked the edges of the small streets leading to another pandal. The festive atmosphere kept everyone in high spirits.
After a long walk we stopped for dinner. I can’t recollect what we had in the main course, but I certainly remember the dessert. The medium sized gulab-jamun took the tongue by surprise with its amount of warmth. It was delicious and the taste spread as it gradually melted in my mouth. I took another piece and it certainly felt heavenly. Even mom and dad liked it a lot. From then on I have always preferred hot gulab-jamuns.
Enjoy your food and cherish the foodie memories. Like they say, “best things in life are unexpected” and sometimes you will find out that the best food in life is unexpected too.