By Faria Sanjana
When it comes to chocolates, the common names that strikes one's mind are Hershey's, Kit-Kat, Snickers etc. No matter how popular these are, one cannot deny the fact they are foreign too. So I decided to make a list of the local delicacies that our country has to offer.
Mimi Orange flavored chocolate
Unarguably, it is the oldest and the most popular Deshi chocolate. During my younger days, when pocket money used to run low and Mars were mere rarities, I had to make do with 10 taka Mimi chocolate. However it tasted a lot different from a typical chocolate. I remember that after having the entire bar, an essence of beef fat (far from an orange flavor) seemed to be left behind in my mouth. Mimi chocolate is not that much available these days but if you look hard enough you might find one or two in some jar of a local store.
Bingo Milk candy
These are the tiny 1 taka candies which you'd love popping into your mouth while studying or when walking on the streets having nothing better to do. The candies are sweet and remain true to their claim of being milk candies with their milky taste.
Pran Mango Bar
Those of you who worry about hygiene about having 'aam shotto' from the streets can go for Pran Mango Bar which is a more hygienic and sweeter version of 'aam shotto'. Although this has got little mango flavor and more of a chemical flavor, it does not stay behind in being the most sought after snack. A box of these bars was a great favorite with my friends while watching a movie.
Cocola Flowering Kiss Lozenge
Remember the pink and blue wrappers of the sugary candies whose flavor you were unable to determine? Yes these are none other than the famous Cocola Lozenges which were another favorite among a lot of kids. Got a toothache for something saccharinely sweet? Just try out Cocola Lozenge.
Cocola Lychee Mini fruit Gel
This is your very own Jell-o. I was quite surprised at how its taste was so similar to that of a real lychee. Since lychee is available for a short period of time, you could try out this fruit gel. In this way, you'd not be missing one of your favorite fruits.
Elson Three Cheers
Opting for a deshi Kit-Kat? Then Three Cheers is just the treat for you. This chocolate coated wafer is 100% 'made in Bangladesh' material. Although crude in making and not as refined as the real Kit-Kat, it is not short of that wafer cum chocolate taste. Next time, when you have a break, have a Three Cheers for just Tk. 8.
Mon Chere candy
This one's wrapper matches the one of Alpenliebe. So I thought maybe its taste would be like that too. As I took it in my mouth, I realized how correct I was. The same toffee-like flavor of that of Alpenliebe but truly local!
I liked the wrapper of this candy as it sported the green and red flag color of Bangladesh. Its taste too was soothing. You'd probably feel that you're having solidified mango juice.
These come in a number of flavors chatni, orange and etc. I would not say they are very good or very bad. They just fall somewhere in the middle; a moderate treat for those wanting a particular flavored candy.
Bingo Tamarind candy
Now this candy disappointed me big time. I was quite eager to try out its 'tamarind' flavor. But there wasn't a single hint of tamarind in it. I hate to say it but this one's not at all a good try. Instead you should go for those orange colored boxes 'Tok Misti' which are not totally deshi but yet have that tangy and spicy flavor of tamarind.
Although there may be many hidden candies and bars manufactured in Bangladesh, the aforementioned ones were at the forefront. Nowadays, we don't see any chocolates beyond the American or European ones, but if you look around you're bound to get these deshi treats waiting for you at some local general store. Priced at a minimum level, these munchies are totally eligible for competing in the global race. Who knows, maybe one day they might emerge as the winners too!