April 12, 2009, Day 2, 11.00 am, Odissa:
We arrived in Bhubaneswar almost on time. My parents have come to the station with lunch and I am sure Odiya sweets. My mother only has sweet teeth, not just a sweet tooth! My mother-in-law was also there with upma, allu chop (another Odiya invention the marathis stole and renamed Vada, as in vada-pao) and mallai chop, a sweet made with cottage cheese like most other Odiya sweets.
The bengalis also have a liking for sweets but they don’t have a culinary tradition like the Odiyas. Rassagollas for example were first cooked in the city of Puri almost a thousand years ago. Odissa has a culinary tradition as old as the land, going back to the days of Ashoka and beyond. There is mention of Kalinga in the Ramayana. Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia were settled by Odiya traders sailing with the Monsoons.
The kids have munched through most of the food my mother-in-law had brought. No dent in the supplies from my parents yet. Maybe in another hour or so. After that crash off the few hours it will take to reach Calcutta.