A few years ago, Rustam Rene, brand manager of Keynote international, an exporter of exotic ingredients, brought a special variety of mango Alfonso to Ukraine for the first time. He will tell mothers of travelers what to look for in India besides yoga retreats, temples and colorful saris.
Imagine yourself on a sunny beach, where you are lulled by the barely audible rustle of coconut trees. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of melodic chaos, where the voices of dozens of tropical birds are intertwined, and your eyes rest while admiring the beauty of outlandish plants.
A light breeze touches the skin, caressed by the southern sun, and lies on it with a flawless tan to the melodies of Bob Marley. For lunch, fresh prawns, lobsters and grilled scallops served with lemon wedges and Indian spices and a couple of delicate coconut or mango piña coladas are waiting for you, designed to help you realize that you are in paradise. If the famous “stop, a moment, you’re fine” had an exact formula, then it would probably include all the ingredients of such a holiday and in that order.
Most travelers from Eastern and Central Europe are not new to Goa, but many of them overlook that the very essence of the pleasures that tourists most often associate with such a holiday remains the same even if you decide to go further north or south of Goa , along the western coast of India. Just twenty kilometers from Goa is the state of Maharashtra.
whose pristine beaches around the village of Tarkarli and the Deobag area are quite comparable to the beauties of Goa. This is an ideal place for those who want to enjoy all the delights of a holiday without having to compete for the caress of the sun with numerous tourists and endure the noise and hustle that always accompanies popular resorts.
The same applies to those wishing to travel further south to Karnataka and spend time around the town of Gokarna, famous for its Hindu shrines and divine beaches. Coffee plantations are worth a visit in this region, and further south you will reach the “kingdom of Indian spices” – the state of Kerala, famous for its landscapes. I would advise everyone who wants to get the most out of their holidays in India, not to opt only for Goa, but to go on a journey that will open the country for you from a completely new side.
Exotic fruits – the path to the ultimate gourmet pleasure
The western coast regions of India, famous for their pastures and agriculture, are also home to the rarest spices and ingredients used in cooking, found both in Goan street food and drinks a la Alphonso mango lassi, and in the most expensive establishments of “haute cuisine” around the world.
Traveling along the coast, you will come across small private ostrich farms where you can buy the freshest eggs and natural farm meat (probably the most natural) at wholesale prices. If you smell cashews – trust me, it’s unmistakable! – interrupt your journey and follow the scent that will surely lead you to the market where you can buy selected freshly roasted sweet or salted nuts. Cashew merchants will most likely want to treat you to a liqueur made from these wonderful nuts (so-called Fenny liqueur).
a favorite treat of local philosophers; and here it is important to remember that this drink is as strong as it is delicious! It is likely that along with the roasting of cashew nuts, the locals are also engaged in the production of spices. Be sure to enjoy the rich flavors of the famous Garam Masala and blends of different spices! Local markets will please even the most capricious connoisseur of exotic tastes. Here you will find an amazing abundance of fruits, fresh and dried, among which are mangosteens.
dried tamarind or Indian dates, homemade cashew fruit wine, and jambul, whose sour “berries”, a bit like dark grapes, are famous for being extremely healthy; as well as unrefined jaggery palm sugar, which is sold in whole bars. You simply have to purchase a set of spices – one mixture for vegetable.
fish and meat dishes. But be careful – India is famous for its treasures that are conquering the world (like Indian tea and yoga, and even one well-known plant that is now completely legal to consume in the state of Colorado), and once you get acquainted with them, it will be difficult for you to stop!
Tropical Seduction: Fruits of India
When it comes to the wonders of taste that India has to offer, it is impossible not to mention the richness of the tropical fruits that its western coast is famous for. If you are lucky enough to be there in the summer (and I mean the Indian summer, which lasts from mid-April and ends in June), you will have an unforgettable encounter with the gifts of Indian nature.
It is the western regions of India that are the birthplace of coconuts, Indian breadfruit (also known as jackfruit), sapodilla, guava, sau-sepa (whose fruits, called “soursop”, are most often known to Europeans as an additive to green tea), mangosteens, fruits of the clove tree (syzygies), carambola, dwarf and red bananas and a whole group of fruits known as “apples”: cream apple and “velvet apple” (a distant relative of persimmon).
Also, this area was lucky enough to be the birthplace of the most famous mango variety – Alfonso mango, also known as the “king of mango”. This fruit is akin to other culinary rarities – beluga caviar, marbled beef, white truffles and grapes from the Champagne region – an exquisite gem that is grown in a small area around the cities of Devgada and Ratnagiri.