To commemorate 75 years of Independence, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the district administration hosted the Eat Right Mela, a mega food festival which aims to improve public health and combat negative nutritional trends, here on Sunday.
The event curated a variety of delicacies to delight the taste buds of city residents with flavours from Chennai to Kanyakumari. Cultural events were also performed at the festival.
According to a food safety official, this platform would provide an opportunity for the public to learn about safe food, a healthy diet, quick tests for adulterants and nutrition benefits. The food safety officials educated the public on how to identify adulterated food items using simple techniques and created awareness of permitted food colouring.
The event had over 50 stalls showcasing a wide range of traditional food items, including Raagi Puttu, Kollukattai, Millet Laddu, Mooligai Soup, and Mudakathan Dosai. Similarly, homemade Parupu Podi, Health Mix, Jaggery Powder, Biscuits, Snacks etc were also on display.
The food festival featured a traditional showcase of specialities across the state including Madurai Jigarthanda, Srivilliputhur Palkova, Thoothukudi Macaroni, Sattur Sev, Kodaikanal Chocolates, and more. An array of traditional rice and millet varieties were also exhibited.
Popular restaurants and eateries such as Aasife Biriyani, Shri Sangeethas, Madhuram Sweets, Apple Millet, Aswin Sweets and bakeries in the city offered a range of food. Aavin, Amul, Lion Dates, Nuts 'n' Chocos and Nammalvar Iyarkai Angadi showcased their products.
Educational institutions such as Jamal Mohamed College, Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Cauvery College for Women, Bishop Heber College etc, displayed various traditional dishes prepared from millets.
To highlight the variety of delicacies that could be prepared from kavuni, mappillai samba, moongil and other traditional rice varieties, Kavery Hospital provided a variety of payasam made out of rice.
S. Leela from Srirangam, who takes millets as part of her daily diet, said that “Food items made out of millets that were once the nutritional basis of the poor had now become a part of everyone’s diet.”
R. Karthik of Puthur, who came with his family, said the festival could have been better with presence of more traditional food stalls. “There are just a few traditional food stalls; nevertheless, the government did make a good effort, and we hope to see more of these events in the future.”