This Christmas, no pandemic blues for cakes!
Kolkata: This Christmas, celebrations may embrace the norms of the new normal. From virtual parties, online carol singing to gifts doused in sanitisers, there could be several new ways of merrymaking customised for the pandemic-hit world. But, a slice of the festival remained unaltered. And, that's the cake!
When it comes to the Christmas cake, the pandemic failed to dampen the Yuletide spirit. People thronged the famed bakeries and confectionaries on Sunday in New Market to stock up the season's best. The shoppers were mostly spotted near the Esplanade Metro Station, heading for the iconic cake shops.
"Christmas is incomplete without cakes from New Market. Yes, we are scared of COVID-19. But, maintaining physical distance I bought 2 pounds of Christmas cake (fruit cake) from New Market," said David Gomes, a resident of Tangra.
The festive spirit, however, didn't give way to laxity. The Covid protocols were strictly adhered to at most of the cake shops. Sanitisers were sprayed on the hands of customers before they stepped into the shops. Thermal screening of body temperature was also conducted. Customers not wearing masks were barred from entering the shops.
Besides traditional sweets, the City of Joy is also known for its age old bakeries running since the British era.
Like every year, these well-known bakeries are offering a variety of Christmas cakes this time.
From classic plum cakes, rich puddings to a variety of chocolates and cookies, a lot is on the offer. "The sale of cakes is good. This year, we have a new variant — the Nolen Gur cake — for the revellers," said Sk Aman Rahman of Rahman Cake Shop at New Market.
However, the prices of cakes have increased slightly this year. For instance, at Rahman's outlet the price of each variety has increased by at least Rs 10 compared to last year.
"This year, the minimum price of cake is Rs 60 (400 grams). Last year, we sold the same at Rs 50.
"The maximum price of Nolen Gur cake is Rs 550," said a staff of Imperial Bakery.
More than 10 lakh people are associated with the cake business. There are at least 4,000 bakeries across the state producing tonnes of cakes during the season.