Nestled at some 12 km northwest of Puducherry, Auroville is a place that will easily resonate with anyone having an idealistic leaning. Founded in 1968 by The Mother, it is an abode of a universal community that is committed to peace, sustainability, and divine consciousness.
People from across the globe, irrespective of their creed, colour, and nationality have come together to build a blissful, universal, and non-religious township. As we set out to explore it more through its food we braced ourselves for an enriching experience that encouraged us to revive our relationship with nature.
Our food journey across this peaceful heaven that has some excellent restaurants and cafes serving global delicacies prepared out of local produce were lead by our lively host for the day Zeba Rizvi. She was super excited to walk us through the vibrant food culture of this quaint and easy going place that is a melting pot of numerous cultures across the globe.
Our first stop was the Auroville Bakery, one of the most popular bakeries in the town. The decadent spread was prepared from locally sourced ingredients. We tried the humble dome-shaped chocolate muffins that were fresh, fluffy, lightly sweetened and loaded with choco chips.
The homely taste of this chocolate goodness made them a perfect accompaniment with coffee. While discussing the itinerary for the day, Zeba suggested that a great way to explore the soul of the city was to hitchhike a ride for your destination. And she was absolutely right.
Interacting with the amicable and generous populace while hitchhiking was indeed a rewarding experience.
While making our way to the most iconic bakery, The Bread and Chocolate, we were tempted to halt at an inconspicuous cart along the roadside to savour some basic curd rice with lemon pickle. The rice that was tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves had a sweet and tangy flavour to it that was satisfying. We reached Bread & Chocolate our second food stop in the town. it was a warm and cutesy little cafe that was brimming with scrumptious food and a lively crowd. After eyeing the magnificent spread of Grilled sandwiches, melt-in-the-mouth croissants, gooey cakes, smoothies etc., we decided to try the basic orange strawberry cake that was fluffy, moist and so flavourful. While soaking in the taste of the rich slice, Zeba gave an insight into the harmonious and easy-going way of life here at Auroville that sounded so pleasing to masses like us who are used to the fast-paced life of a metropolis. Simple explained how simple activities were a source of profound joy.
From there we went to our third stop, Marc's cafe, to understand coffee in a different light by witnessing the roasting process that was meticulous combined sorting, roasting, and cooling of the beans. The Cold Drip coffee made out of the Kavery blend was a revelation. It was just amazing to know how the brew was done by allowing the coffee to drip and collect slowly over a span of nearly 16 hours.
The fifth-place we checked in for some awesome food was the Maiyam Past Food, a place that served native food prepared with traditional wisdom and local produce. The meal was light, soulful, delicious and hearty. For our sixth and penultimate food stop, we arrived at a non-descript joint named The Hot Pizzeria at kuilapalayam. They are famous for their homestyle wood-fired pizzas that were super delicious and unpretentious. The Chicken Salami Pizza that we tried had a perfectly done crust. The generous toppings of chicken salami gave a garlicky punch to it. The passion to serve the best was evident in each bite.
Our final stop was the Richy Rich shake and lassi joint that. We couldn't prevent ourselves from trying the smooth and sweet red banana lassi, in spite of our loaded tummies. Honestly, we couldn't have asked for a better way to end our gastronomic journey that was so serene.