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Puducherry witnessing culinary tourism boom, says Minister

November 26, 2023 07:48 pm | Updated November 27, 2023 11:10 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

The culinary experience is vital to attracting more footfalls in U.T.

Tourism Minister K. Lakshminarayanan launching “The Hidden Treasure Tales” authored by Ramaa Shanker in Puducherry on November 25, 2023 | Photo Credit: M. Dinesh Varma

Puducherry is witnessing a boom in culinary tourism with mushrooming eateries putting a variety of global cuisines on the local platter, Tourism Minister K. Lakshminarayanan has said.

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Launching the books, “Memoirs of a Foodie” and “The Hidden Treasure Tales” authored by Ramaa Shanker, at an event hosted by Aurodhan Art Gallery, Mr. Lakshminarayanan said while the city had always been renowned for its French foods, especially the unique Creole cuisines, there has been an explosion in the number of eateries that have sprung up in the heart of town offering dishes and delicacies from all over the world.

The Minister pointed out that this boom in food outlets was especially centered in the French Quarter area which is dotted with about 200 food joints. Not only has the sheer variety of cuisines now available in the city expanded, the fact that all these outlets are packed to capacity on weekends, points to their popularity and success, he said.

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From a tourism perspective as well, the culinary experience is vital to attracting more footfalls, as access to good food, as with the quality of accommodation, is an important measure of tourist satisfaction, the Minister said.

Offering his felicitations to the author, N. Murugesan, chairman of East Coast Hospitals, said while these books represented a labour of love, the children’s book especially was so much in keeping with the author’s selfless disposition and desire to make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate.

Dr. Murugesan also briefly explained his research work on evolving an ideal sodium-potassium salt formulation “for the whole of humanity” that limited sodium content to below the WHO-stipulated daily intake level of 2 gm of the capped measure of 5 gm of salt. The “C-Salt” project, with which he has been engaged since 2008, was motivated by his first-hand experience as a nephrologist with the toxic fallout of long-term excessive intake of sodium-rich salt on patients who suffer from elevated blood pressure-triggered heart failure, stroke and renal disorders.

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Of the two books, “The Hidden Treasure Tales” is an answer to the Western fictional universe of superheroes, combining tales of mythological icons like Krishna and Hanuman and real-life personages such as Swami Vivekananda and APJ Abdul Kalam.

The author, who conceived the book as a tribute to India’s ancient civilisation, engages a simple and modern narrative that children of today can easily understand.

As Ms. Shanker notes in the preface: “More miracles are wrought by prayers than the world dreams of; is one of my favourite quotes, and the underlying message of this book.”.

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Perhaps, any introduction to the “Memoirs of a Foodie” begins with the disclaimer that it is not a mere recipe book. The work spans her extensive career experience, as a celebrity chef, who while at the Taj Group, was a matron-like overseer to the Indian cricket team, and host of showbiz events, and features cricket and film/television stars from cricketing legend Kapil Dev to actor Revathi, choosing their one go-to food.

A short account of the legacy of the dish and the method of its making are the icing at the top

Swati Deshmukh, deputy medical superintendent, MGMCRI, Jacqueline Kapur, entrepreneur, and Lalit Verma, founder of Aurodhan were among those who spoke.

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