Christmas in my city Kolkata is always special. Owing to its long colonial association, Kolkata have imbibed a lot of cultural influences of the British. The influence is evident in the way the city, specially the Central Kolkata, Park Street, Bow Barracks, deck themselves up during the Christmas and New Year fortnight. It’s a time for Kolkatans, to start baking at homes as well visiting the heritage bakeries of Kolkata for tasting the some of the best Christmas confectioneries.
The city is suddenly abuzz, cheering up to the holy occasion. So, when all are looking forward to the last week of December, can Kolkata Fusion be far behind? Here’s presenting the 4 iconic bakeries of Kolkata which you should not miss visiting this Christmas, at all.
Nahoum Israel Mordecai founded the store around 117 years ago. Till date the shop and its goodies have not lost their dedicated customers. The fruit cake, plum cake, brownies, white chocolates, dark chocolate bars, or the black forest cakes, taste the same as they tasted before. The sweetness is subtle. The morsels just melt in your mouths in no time.
In the present time, when the Kolkatans are getting much more exposed to newer varieties of confectionaries, or newer names like Mrs. Magpie, Nahoum’s had stood firm on selling their heritage confectionery goods.
The last of the descendants, David Nahoum, passed away in 2013 but still the extended family of the Nahoum’s, its loyal employees are carrying on with the Nahoum legacy.
F20, Bertram St, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700087
Operating Hours: 10 AM to 9 PM
2. Saldanha Bakery
When Nahoum’s have decided to keep preparing their age old food items and sell them, the Saldanhas have thought of keeping their heritage stuff as well as improvise on newer varieties. The Saldanha Bakery is also a few hundred years old.
While ‘Uncle’ Denzil Saldanha have held the fort strong with his personal interactions with the repeat customers, his daughter, Debra Saldanha have learnt the ropes of the family business and joined the legacy. Debra’s daughter has brought in the fresh vibe with her knowledge in pastry and patisserie making.
The wood fired oven yields in the delectable Wedding Cakes, Almond Cake, Chocolate Walnut Cake, Chicken Envelope, Macarons, Crossed Buns, Cheese Puffs and so on. The Christmas Cake or the Rich Fruit Cake orders shoot up during the months of November and December.
19, Nawab Abdur Rahman St, Haji Md. Mohsin Square, Esplanade, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016
Operating Hours: 9 AM-8 PM
3. Barua Bakery
This was arguably the first bakery that made Christmas cakes accessible to the common citizens of my city, Kolkata who, though had the wish to taste Christmas cakes but their pockets did not permit them to buy the costly varieties.
Presently famous as ‘Mantu da r cake er dokan’ near the Bow Barracks area, the bakery was founded by Manoranjan Barua in 1928. The taste of the Christmas cakes or the fruit cakes will remind you of the taste of home baked cakes without any fancy additions.
Another speciality of the Barua Bakery is the ‘Chhana Pora Cake’ with cottage cheese as the main ingredient.
No. 123A, Lenin Sarani Rd, Esplanade, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700013
Operating Hours: 2 PM onwards
In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. J Flury, founded the Flury’s which became hugely popular among the British and affluent Indian community staying in erstwhile Calcutta. It served as a tea room and confectionery store, both. Each year during Christmas the pre-orders for Christmas Cakes and other goodies increases November onwards. On the Christmas Eve, in Kolkata, there’s a long queue outside the main gate of Flury’s waiting for its signature Rich Fruit Cake, Plum Cake, Chocolate Truffle Cake, Cookies and other savouries.
The tea room emits an old world charm with its traditional seating arrangements and warmly welcomes the patrons with its All Day English Breakfast, Peach Melbas, Asparagus Rolls and many other signature dishes.
Located right in the epicentre of Christmas fever of Kolkata, a seat in the corner of the tearoom, a piece of Red Velvet Cake in front of you and the festive fervour outside the outlet can usher in the season of good times like no other place can.
18A, Park St, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
Operating Hours: 7:30 AM – 11 PM