Swinging its doors wide open in 1935, Jashoda Mishtanna Bhandar stands at Taltala in Kolkata for a whopping 86 years. “Mistanna Bhandar” quite literally translates into “sweet shop” and a place that has kept itself alive by changing and evolving with the sign of the times.
Jashoda Mistanna Bhandar was founded by Lt. Shankar Chandra Poddar in the year 1935, with several iconic people having a favourite reserved here. The address reads 50/1, SN Banerjee Road, Taltala, Kolkata 700014.
It was passed onto his sons Shri Sanat Poddar and Shri Soumen Poddar and is presently managed by the third generation, Shyambhu Poddar, who also happens to be an accoladed film-maker.
Jashoda has always been famed for their “Lal Mishti Doi” (Red Sweet Curd) or more famously known as “Jashodi Doi”, which comes from a special caramelization process, without adding sugar in the milk during the process.
Besides this, some traditional sweets like “Kora Pak Talshash”, “Heeng Kochuri with Cholar dal”, “Rabri” and “Dofali” have had their recipes untouched since their inception.
The “Dofali” has had various names in the past like “Jashoda’s Special”, “Julie Mishti”, “Mouchak”, “Rainbow Mithai” and so on, but the concept has always remained the same, to cut a “Kalo Jam” into half, with a malai spread and grated shondesh to top it all off.
The main eye for innovation comes from Shyambhu, who took over the business five years ago. He single-handedly made a digital footprint for Jashoda on Facebook, Instagram, Google and also partnered up with Swiggy and Zomato to ensure more people get to enjoy their delicacies.
He has also been instrumental in changing the get-up of some traditional sweets to include exotic fruits and berries into the preparation of mishtis. Keeping a lookout for what people wanted, he introduced sweets with a twist on the inside, a few of which are the “Blueberry Jolbhora” and the “Mango Jolbhora.”
He also introduced the addition of coffee into their mishtis, by way of “Choco-pop Shondesh” which is, in effect, a mishti popsicle with a dash of mocha going into the preparation.
Some Lesser Known Facts
Months of experimentations brought about the first “Mousse Shondesh, which has flavours of strawberry and Oreo going into it. All of these innovations had a drawback: they could not be taken aboard a flight because of security measures undertaken by the airports.
Jashoda decided to address the problem by means of “Flight Pack” which was introduced in 2018 by them, that includes tamperproof flight packaging with minimal leakage chances.
Despite the advent of several types of machinery that makes lives easier for the preparation of mishtis, Jashoda still values the culinary skill of handcrafted mishtis and has refused to compromise on quality while rewarding the raw skill of the chefs.
One of the oldest employees, Sunil Das, or lovingly called “Sunil Mama” has been a front-desk operator and a salesperson for them for over 40 years. He is the one person who has in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the shop and can even accurately recognise trends of sales.
Kolkata, being the Geographical Indicator for Roshogollas, has been lucky to see such innovation and quality in Jashoda Mishtanna Bhandar for a long, long time.
Sources: Exclusive Interview for ED Times
Image Sources: Shyambhu Poddar and Google Images
Connect with the Blogger: Shouvonik Bose
This post is tagged under: Kolkata, Mishti, Kolkata City, Jashoda Mistanna Bhandar, Heritage Sites, Food, Kolkata Street Food, Sweetshop, Oldest sweet shop in Kolkata, Kolkata Heritage Site for food, Calcutta Mishti Doi, Roshogolla