Among the many dishes inspired by the COVID-19 virus, the newest are sweets from a popular outlet in Kolkata.
Hindustan Sweets, located in south Kolkata’s Jadavpur area has come up with desserts inspired by the shape of the virus that it distributed for free on Monday among its customers. The 70-year-old shop hopes it will dispel fear about the virus and will continue to hand them out for the next couple of days.
A big red coronavirus-shaped dish sat alongside the two new creations. The one-and-half kg dish was a variation of the famous kaju katli (barfi).
A dark pink dessert with light pink and white icing were cupcakes, while the yellow ones were Bengali sandesh made with chhana.
“Seeing the news about coronavirus all day, it must be quite frightening. Although people are being asked not to panic, the escalating numbers of positive cases and death can hardly provide any solace to anyone,” said Rabin Paul, the store’s owner.
“There is this great fear that corona (virus) is eating us, so, through these sweets, we want to tell people we ‘shall digest corona’, in a way to reduce some stress,” the 80-year-old told The Indian Express.
“But it must be noted, in no way we are trying to claim that eating this sweet will solve the crisis. It’s just a way to raise more awareness and reduce some anxiety,” he added.
The store made around 200 pieces to be distributed on Monday but plans to reduce the number in the coming days.
When asked about people’s reaction to them, Paul said that while many customers said it “looked scary”, they appreciated the creativity.
“We want to do our bit and give as much back to society as possible. We have already donated Rs 1 lakh to the CM’s Relief Fund for COVID-19. During this pandemic, it’ll be an honour if we could be of any more help to the society. So, I have also written to Mamata Banerjee to let her know, I have a building near Dhakuria AMRI, and if needed for any quarantine facility, I will be happy to make it available for the state,” he said.
The owner said he has been reading reports that the government is also facing a shortage of disinfectant and he has a factory which produces Sodium hypochlorite and will be happy to provide any assistance if needed.
Earlier, this month, the West Bengal government allowed sweet shops in the state to operate from noon to 4 pm every day. The government had allowed the shops to run with minimum staff during the nationwide lockdown to stop coronavirus outbreak, to curb the wastage of milk.
In March, a Hanoi restaurateur went viral for creating corona-burgers to spread some joy amid the pandemic.
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