Spencer’s Retail will be a 10-day long biggest-ever Hilsa Festival beginning on Tuesday. The unveiling of the Festival will take place at South City Spencer’s stores (Prince Anwar Shah Road) at 11.40 am. This is the first time when the widest choice from the nine Hilsa landing centres will be on offer to the customers at the lowest-possible price. Also of special attraction is big-size Hilsa from Myanmar which will be reaching Kolkata through the sea route via Yangon Port.
To keep the budget-buyers in the loop, Spencer’s will be introducing a unique two-piece mini-pack of cut Hilsa priced only Rs. 50. There will be large-size Hilsa weighing more than 2 kgs.
Bengalis have special attraction for the fish and it is felt that life is meaningless if one does not get Hilsa in the menu during monsoon. Hilsa festivals are held in almost all the restaurants in the city.
The councillors of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) also organise Hilsa festivals where various dishes are served to the guests. The taste of Hilsa dishes varies from placed to place and those who are from East Bengal (called bangal) cook the fish in a completely different manner than their counterpart in West Bengal.
It may be mentioned that Swami Vivekananda was a great connoisseur of Hilsa. During his trip to east Bengal now Bangladesh in 1901 while travelling in a launch he had expressed his desire to have Hilsa in his lunch. The launch was anchored and two young boys accompanying him got down and bought two Hilsa fishes. Swamiji was very happy and told them to sit quietly and both were initiated (diksha) there itself on the launch as reward.
Apart from Hilsa, the festival will be supplemented by more than 30 varieties of fish including Galda Chingri, Bagda, medium-sized white shrimp (Bagda), as also Rohu and Katla (starting from Rs. 158).