Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On Things That Get Imported


I sometimes marvel at the people who make purchasing decisions for supermarkets. Really, just walk down the aisles of any large grocery store in Mumbai, specially the imported food sections, and so much of it will make no logical sense. Take this elderflower cordial. Syrups and mixers fall in two categories in Indian markets. There is the Roohafza and all the local flavours my mom and aunties buy every summer. And there are the high priced Monin flavours of Irish Cream and Blue Curacao and such like made popular by the drinks served at cafes and pubs.

Elderflower cordial is neither. It's not a flower that's either grown or traditionally made into a drink in India. And I am yet to find a Mumbai pub selling elderflower drinks. In short, selling elderflower cordial in India completely defies logic. And yet there are rows of these bottles sitting pretty in the imported food aisles of hypercity.

And I was so glad they are there, I wasted no time bringing one home and fixing myself a drink. For these iconic green bottles define summer in a distant city that's almost a second home to me. Elderflower to me is a short lived summer, a basement pub and lots of smiling friends. So whoever you are Mr. Hypercity buyer, thank you for the memories!

1 comment:

Kalpanaa Misra said...

Hi Simran,
Certainly a lot of ridiculous food stuff does get imported and gives me cause for plenty of caustic comment. But leave the elderflower cordial alone :)
I love that stuff and the delicate taste of elderflower evokes all the subtlety of Europe. I for one was delighted to find it in the grocery store.
That's when I figured that some of the things that make no sense to me may be exactly what someone else needs to help with their homesickness or their nostalgia. And I decided to stop judging.