Sweet Delicacies of Bengal

This is the story of Bengali sweets. The time was 2500 years ago in ‘Gauda Banga’, the ancient Bengal, the land of ‘Gur’. In those times, molasses was harvested in abundance in this part of the world. The lives of the people of this land were filled with happiness. Sweets were a daily diet to them then. The children were the happiest; they were fond the most of delicious jaggery.

Many years have passed after that. For thousands of years the people of Bengal were as happy as their ancestors were. Then came the Europeans, the colonial period had started. But sweets never left the Bengali platter. The Portuguese brought curds with them and Bengal got fascinated in using ‘Chhana’ or curds in making sweets. The lives of the Bengalis became even sweeter. Early Bengal eventually learned to use refined sugar and started making the tastiest sweetmeats out of it. Milk solids and condensed milk came to the scene soon. The uses of different fruits to make a variety of sweets became prevalent after that.

Some Bengali sweets such as ‘Kheer’ are cooked, some like ‘Burfi’ are baked, varieties like ‘Mysore Pak’ are roasted, some like ‘Jalebi’ are fried, others like ‘Kulfi’ are frozen, while still others involve a creative combination of preparation techniques.

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