Hyderabad: After Hyderabad, the city of Cochin is attempting to enter the UNESCO’s list of creative cities. The queen of the Arabian sea has sent a proposal to the world body for nomination as a ‘Creative City of Gastronomy’ under the Creative Cities Network.
Kochi is one of the oldest cities in the world and has been considered as the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. It is unique with its seaport, hinterlands and food habits.
Historically, Kochi and its roots originated from Muziris, which has been a gateway to the spice trade and a window to the West.
With the NRIs slowly returning home from the Gulf, the city minders believe that tourism can provide jobs to the foreign-return population. According to the Cochin Municipal Corporation, a UNESCO tag will help them attract more tourists and investors for tourism projects in the city. Currently, hotels, restaurants and cafes offer the most of jobs to locals as well as migrants.
The cuisine, architecture, and general culture of the city has a very unique mix. Kochi is endowed with societies of Gujaratis, Marvadis, Marakkars, Jains, Kannadigas, Tamil Brahmins, along with Keralite Hindus, Christians and Muslims. Its century-old trade settlements with Rome, Arabian Countries, Portugal, Netherlands Spain and British have also influenced the city’s cuisine and culture.
Kochi has always been quietly obsessed with food. The new waves of migration have enriched its gastronomy. Interestingly, the Wellness and Ayurveda institutions in Kochi offer various food-related treatments.
Café Kudumbasree is another peculiar feature of Kochi, which the city corporation has highlighted in its 17-page proposal to UNESCO. Run by women from poor economic backgrounds, the eatery is arguably the only brand that brings together the diversity of ethnic Kerala cuisine under one roof. A part of State Poverty Eradication Mission, the café has women from various customs, traditions and culture whipping up authentic dishes.