Friday, August 08, 2008

"the king of mysore pak"

tucked away in the bustle of balepet is sri venkateshwara sweetmeat stall - no branches. the gentleman who set up this landmark destination for the sweet toothed also holds the distinction of introducing to the world, mysore pak as we know it. while the harder and porous version was the find of an ingenious cook in the erstwhile maharaja of mysore's kitchen, the more refined mysore pak that dissolves as soon as it makes contact with your tongue was entirely this establishment's improvement.

and for the last 70 years, sri venkateshwara sweetmeat stall - no branches, has held fort as the foremost makers of special mysore pak. imitations abound and the tamil folks true to their DNA, even tried making this very kannada sweet their own. they call it mysure pa. and even throw in fancy packaging. needless to say, they're not even a patch on what the tiny grimy 8x8 balepet hole in the wall offers.

orders pour in, expectedly from our techie expat brothers in the US and the UK. but sri venkateshwara sweetmeat stall - no branches also counts abdul kalam, jaffer sharrief (who shouldn't be going anywhere near anything with so much ghee), the late dr. raj and chiranjeevi among its patrons. the otherwise non-descript corner chokes on a wide array of automobiles from rickshaws to the swankiest sedans as the faithful queue up for thier manna at rs 280 a kilo.

occasionally a peasant from north of the vindhyas turns up having heard so many compliments about the condiments and is shocked to find the place so small and unassuming. he then typically proceeds to further display his complete ignorance of the exquisite by enquiring if by meat in sweetmeat they actually mean meat? just for these folks, tucked away behind the legions of mysore pak trays is a little dictionary that elucidates. sweetmeat - Noun. A sweetened delicacy (as a preserve or pastry)

7 comments:

Sagar said...

Wow.

POOJA NAIR said...

drool...

i had no idea that the improved version of mysore pak was invented at this 'no branches' stall!

drool....

i can almost smell it...ummm... can't wait for my next trip to bangalore and try this out...

drool...

chaipatti said...

Arrey wah wah Dundee. Aapne to kamaal kar diya.

Mandakini said...

*drool*

love your photographs. you seem to have a storyteller's eye.

and i couldn't help but smile at "north-of-the-vindhyas". :)

duende said...

danke. everybody. danke.

Hari Adivarekar said...

fakker...now I want Mysore Paak..and I'm 30,000 kms away from one that's worth it...

Sundararajan said...

Mysore Pak. Who does not want to taste it? Everywhere you get it. But at the "No Branch" shop it is original. Yes! I have tasted it many a time. WOW!!

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