Some Discoveries, Of The Sweet Type

Pinacolada in a pineapple, Estrela Do Mar Restaurant, Goa

I was thrilled to see pinacolada being served in the shell of a real pineapple at the Estrela Do Mar restaurant in Goa, on our recent trip. I HAD to order one for myself, even if just for the sake of the presentation!

I was not disappointed. Not at all. The drink tasted super-duper delicious!

Kalimark’s Bovonto and Panneer

I am no fan of packaged or aerated drinks. In fact, I don’t consume any in routine life. I do have temptations at times, though. The only things I make exceptions for in my ‘no packaged and aerated drinks’ rule is Kalimark’s Bovonto and Panneer, old-time favourites from Madras. We get these whenever we visit Madras or whenever someone visits us from Madras, but recently, I hear, they have started to appear in stores in Bangalore as well.

Strictly speaking, these are not things I have ‘discovered’ recently, but I think they make for a suitable entry in this post. These are beverages that I like, that do not have an artificial, choke-your-throat kind of taste, something that I would actually like to recommend you to taste. Bovonto is a grape-flavoured drink that reminds me of the huge quantities of grape juice that my maternal grandmother would make at home, in the summers, when we would visit her. Panneer is nothing but the PET Bottle version of that quintessential Madras drink, panneer soda, with a lovely, mild flavour. I think these are available in glass bottles too, that you are supposed to pop the cork open and drink out of, but I suspect they would have a slightly stronger taste than the same beverages available in PET Bottles. I would suggest you go for PET Bottles.

For those of you who want to read more about these beverages, here is an interesting article on how home-grown brands like this have survived the Cola wars.

Paan-flavoured candies from Green’s

Remember the classic Paan Pasand advertisement from the 80s? If you are an 1980s product, like me, I am sure you do! 🙂 Well, I was not a big fan of the taste of Paan Pasand then – they tasted too strong for me.

Recently, though, when I spotted a packet of paan-flavoured candies from Green’s in a little Bangalore grocery shop, I was tempted to pick it up. I am happy I did, for the candies taste lovely! They definitely taste of paan, but the flavour is controlled and not overpowering. I love popping a candy – or two – in my mouth almost every day after dinner. Takes me right back to the 80s!

Fruit Jackpot and Hot Chocolate Fudge at Corner House, Bangalore

Fruit Jackpot at Corner House
Fruit Jackpot at Corner House

Corner House’s Fruit Jackpot was a revelation for me. It was no ordinary dessert filled with tired, dry fruits that have no taste. Neither is it filled with inexpensive fruits that are in season at the time of the order. It is filled with a variety of fruits, fresh and tasty, some of them exotic too. From litchees and apples and bananas to cherries and ripe figs and mangoes, this dessert has undergone no scrimping on fruits. Must have for a fruit lover! The OH, being the lover of fruit that he is, adored it.

Hot Chocolate Fudge at Corner House
Hot Chocolate Fudge at Corner House

The Hot Chocolate Fudge from Corner House is another old-time favourite, recently revisited, and not exactly a new ‘foodie discovery’ as such. I think it deserves a mention here, though.

I love chocolates in most forms and, hence, this is the perfect dessert for me at Corner House. At least, of all the ones we have tried there so far. The extremely famous Corner House Death By Chocolate aka DBC is way too chocolate-ey for my palate. The Hot Chocolate Fudge, on the other hand, is just right. Cold, cold vanilla ice cream smothered in creamy, sinfully rich, hot chocolate, and topped with a lot of nuts – what is not to love? My, I am drooling even as I type this out!

Nolen Gur Ice Cream at Pabrais, Bangalore

I have been eyeing Pabrais ever since I noticed their outlet near Brigade Road, a couple of years ago. We never managed to visit, though, until last week! I discovered a whole new world of ice cream there!

For the uninitiated, the Calcutta-origin Pabrais is this store that sells all-natural ice cream. Their ice creams are made entirely with natural ingredients and, apparently, do not contain preservatives or artificial colours and flavour additives of any kind. They do sell a huge variety of flavours – hundreds, actually! – and most of them are very, very, very interesting. Bubblegum or South Indian Coffee or Lemongrass or Mascarpone Cheese ice cream, anyone? The staff at the parlour was very friendly, and handed us spoon after spoon of different flavours to try out, till we were in danger of having our stomachs filled and exiting without actually buying anything. We finally decided to go for a Nolen Gur and an Orange-Basil ice cream. Both of them were absolutely fresh, natural-tasting, and delicious.

The OH and I just loved the Nolen Gur ice cream, made with date palm jaggery from Bengal, topped with liquid jaggery. There are chewy bits of something like sandesh in the ice cream. All of it together made for a WOW! experience. I can’t wait to have the Nolen Gur again and, of course, try out more flavours that we missed out on the last time.

Most Pabrais ice creams are priced between Rs. 80-90. Slightly on the higher side for a small cup, but I think it is totally justified for the freshness of the ice cream, its natural feel and the exotic flavours.

A visit to Pabrais is highly recommended, if you haven’t been already!

Cadbury’s Coffee & Almond Limited Edition Dairy Milk

On the occasion of Friendship Day this year, Cadbury’s came up with two limited edition Dairy Milk chocolates – Black Forest and Coffee & Almond. These will, apparently, be available in shops till stocks last. I spotted them on a grocery-buying expedition recently, bought them, and polished them off – with the OH, of course! 🙂

The Black Forest is good, but tastes the same as Dairy Milk’s commonly available Fruit & Nut. Nothing new there! The Coffee & Almond was an entirely different story. Hints of coffee, crunchy roasted almonds, and the trademark Dairy Milk smooth chocolate – I had to love a combination like that!

If you haven’t tried this out yet, I would highly recommend that you do.

These chocolates are priced in the Rs. 40-50 range.

What have your foodie discoveries been, of late? Tell me! I am all ears!

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