Bandel cheese
Bandel Cheese, Kolkata, West Bengal 2.jpg
Country of originIndia
RegionEast India, West Bengal
TownBandel, Hooghly, Chinsurah, Chandannagar, Tarakeswar
Source of milkCows
PasteurizedNo
TextureCrumbly Semi-Soft
DimensionsCircular,Diameter=1 in,Height=1/4 in
WeightVariable
Named afterBandel
Related media on Commons

Bandel cheese is an Asian cheese that originated in the erstwhile Portuguese colony Bandel in eastern India. It was introduced by the Portuguese and was made by the Mog (Burmese) under Portuguese supervision.[1] At present, Palash Ghosh and his family are the remaining few artisans making the Bandel Cheese.[2] Palash Ghosh and his family are associated with a Kolkata based food company The Whole Hog Deli for marketing the Bandel Cheese.[3]

Saurav Gupta, the owner of The Whole Hog Deli is actively involved with the efforts to get the coveted GI Tag for the Bandel Cheese.[4] Saurav Gupta and renowned celebrity chef Ranveer Brar are also working together to preserve and promote this unique 500 years old culinary heritage of India.[5]

Today it is also sold in a couple of shops in New Market, Kolkata.[6] though its originality and authenticity is unknown.

Production

It is made by separating the curds from whey with lemon juice. It is then molded and drained in small baskets and smoked.[1] Bandel cheese is known for its dry, crumbly texture and smoky flavor. Also, it is highly aromatic and fresh as it is sold in circular flats straight away after production. It is available in two varieties: plain (white) and smoked (brown).[7] Bandel cheese is well salted and can be stored.[8] It is an indigenous unripened, salted soft variety of cheese made in perforated pots. Today, the production is concentrated in the towns of Tarakeswar and Bishnupur, Bankura, near Kolkata, West Bengal, India.[9][10] It is similar to Surti paneer, a goat milk cheese introduced by the Portuguese in Surat, Gujarat, India. but made from cow's milk.[11]

Bandel cheese (smoked)
Bandel cheese (smoked)
Bandel cheese (plain)
Bandel cheese (plain)

Culinary uses

Widely used in Anglo-Indian cuisine in Kolkata but Bandel cheese is hardly used as an ingredient in Bengali household.[6] It is used as a salad dressing.[12] The plain or non smoked version can be eaten on its own. The smoked version, which has more intense notes is used as pasta, risotto and salad topping. Home chefs and menu consultants have started using Bandel Cheese as an ingredient. It is deep fried and served with gooseberry chutney. Smoked Bandel Cheese is added as a topping to fig and almond tart. Even chefs outside Kolkata are using Bandel Cheese as an ingredient. [13]

Scientific study

In 2017 the Food Technology and Biochemical Engineering Department of Jadavpur University has started a scientific study of the Bandel Cheese under Debabrata Bera. The project funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of West Bengal aims at the hygienic production of Bandel Cheese in a controlled environment. The project also aims at measuring the economic potential of the cheese both in the domestic and international markets.[14] The project also aims at training the artisans who presently making the cheese. Presently the cheese is being made by a single family in a village near Arambagh in Hooghly District. Finally the project aims at exploring the opportunities of getting a Geographical indication tag for Bandel Cheese.[15] The project also aims at developing several by-products with medical and pharmaceutical values, including probiotic drinks.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Dey, Pallabi (9 March 2021). "Why researchers and a charcuterie owner are fighting for a GI tag for Bengal's unique Bandel Cheese". The Indian Express. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  2. ^ Dey, Shuvra (March 2, 2021). "Palash Ghosh - One of the last Bandel Cheese makers churning the historic delicacy". getbengal.com.
  3. ^ Banerjee, Tania (June 23, 2021). "Bandel is an East Indian Cheese You'll Want To Try ( If You Can Find It )". cheeseprofessor.com.
  4. ^ Dey, Pallabi (March 9, 2021). "Why researchers and a charcuterie owner are fighting for a GI tag for Bengal's unique Bandel Cheese". indianexpress.com.
  5. ^ Yengkhom, Sumati (June 6, 2022). "Pitch for investments, GI tag gives revival hope to Bandel Cheese". The Times of India newspaper. pp. Page 4.
  6. ^ a b c Chakraborty, Shamayita (21 January 2021). "Artisanal Bandel Cheese set for high tech makeover in JU Lab". No. Times of India. Kolkkata. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  7. ^ "ALL YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT LOCAL CHEESE — KALIMPONG TO BANDEL". The Telegraph, Calcatta. Calcutta, India. May 3, 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Food". The Telegraph, Kolkata (Graphti). Calcutta, India. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Say cheese". The Times Of India. 30 July 2006.
  10. ^ "Indian entrepreneurs are churning out all varieties of gourmet cheeses". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 6 September 2009.
  11. ^ "CHEESE AND CHEESE PRODUCTS".
  12. ^ "Bandel Cheese Salad Recipe". Times Food. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  13. ^ Banerjee, Poorna. "Bandel ,Cheese the artisan bengali cheese you need to know about". NDTV Food. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  14. ^ Basu, Riju (14 January 2018). "ব্যান্ডেল চিজ-কে তুলে ধরতে উৎসুক রাজ্য". Ananda Bazar Patrika. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  15. ^ Basu, Riju (21 January 2021). "অচেনা ব্যান্ডেল চিজ়ের উৎস সন্ধান". Ananda Bazar Patrika. Retrieved 21 January 2021.