4 unique Ooty foods you should try!
I work as digital marketing trainer at web marketing academy in Bangalore. The founder of the academy Suresh hails from Ooty. And this post is about the local produce of Ooty which he introduced me too! Back from his recent Ooty trip, he brought with him tonnes of local and food unique to Ooty! Green hills, cool breeze and relaxing atmosphere! I have only seen this gorgeous place in pictures, wonder how I would feel when I take a trip there!
I love to explore and try a variety of local produce that our country offer! So, when Suresh got different fruits and biscuits I was the most excited. I also, knew that I wanted to share my experience. Having never been to Ooty and this experience has put this hill-station on my bucket list! So, he got many fruits and biscuits like peaches, plums, sweet & salted biscuits. But following items were new and flavoursome!
First up is this amazing Tree Tomato! Yes, that right! It’s a tomato but grown on a tree (small shrub, unlike the normal ones!) I did a little digging and found out that these are also known as Tamarillo in different parts of the world. Grown in cooler climates in India, its cultivated in mainly in Ooty and Kodaikanal. It locally is known as Marathakkali. One interesting fact is tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable! Amazed? But it’s true…
Back to Tree Tomato! As you see in the picture it is an egg-shaped tomato. It has a thick skin, so don’t eat that. I tried eating it and no wonder didn’t like it much! It’s sweet and tangy flavours dances on your tongue! Like many others, I didn’t know about a Tree Tomato as it’s not marketed well. Try these for sure.
People in Ooty call this fruit as Biky. Its scientific name is Elaeocarpus grown in cooler climate areas. Darjeeling and Sikkim areas grow these. In some areas, it is also known as Bhadrasey. I have never ever seen or eaten this before.
This tiny green fruit actually reminds me of big olives. It has a nice sweet – tangy taste. No wonder in some areas they make Pickles and Chutneys with Bicky.
Apart from these, Ooty grows plenty of exotics fruits. People are just not aware of it. You get mangosteen, pine berry, I even read somewhere you get purple broccoli! I’ll only know about it when I visit this place! You may have to take a local market trip to get your hands on these!
Now, you may wonder why I put a chocolate on the list. What is so special about these chocolates? Ooty has a beautiful chocolate history. Known for their decadent homemade chocolates no tourist leaves the city without these.
Tonnes of flavours up for grabs ensures one thing! CONFUSION, which one to buy! My favourite are the dark one! For me, it’s bitter the better! Try the couverture chocolate varieties. They are rich and so satisfying!
The queen of hill station also offers a unique biscuit/ cookie known as Varkey! Available only the local bakery, these buttery bites are delicious! People say the origins of Varkey are traced back to the British India! Usually served with tea or coffee and is perfect accompaniments.
I found this cookie to be a mix of cookie and Khari! Khari biscuits are inherent to Maharashtra. They are crispy buttery puffs that melt in mouth instantly. Varkey is an interesting combination of crispy butter layer with a nice bite! I loved mine with a hot cup of filter coffee!! Yummm These are must try if in Ooty especially Coonoor. Coonoor and their bakeries! I have heard they offer fresh bread and biscuits… and the aroma drags one in the shops. Despite never being to Ooty, I was fortunate to try this beautiful produce! Ooty and Coonor are on this year’s bucket list!! So, watch this space for more. Please share your views and experience especially if you have been to Ooty!!
Coonoor and their bakeries! I have heard they offer fresh bread and biscuits… and the aroma drags one in the shops. Despite never being to Ooty, I was fortunate to try this beautiful produce! Ooty and Coonor are on this year’s bucket list!! So, watch this space for more.
Please share your views and experience especially if you have been to Ooty!!
P.S: The credit for the gorgeous picture of Ooty valley goes to Sajeesh Radhakrishnan.