GO Cheese, Yeh Cheez Badi Hai Mast-Mast
The origin of Cheese is
so ancient that it predates all recorded history. Cheese is perhaps one of the
very few foods which are produced throughout the world. The history of cheese
is dated more than 4000 years old.


A very famous and old
saying by the French philosopher, gourmand and cheese lover, Jean Anthelme
Brillat-Savarin in the late 1700s goes as 
“A meal without some cheese is like a beautiful
woman with only one eye”


When we talk about beautiful women, the first and foremost name that come to my mind is Femina, perhaps India’s most popular women’s magazine featuring articles on relationships and various cultural facets of Indian women.




When I got a call from Femina as a
blogger to a visit to one of the most modern cheese plants in the country, I
was elated for sure. Blogging for me is a passion and so is my love for cheese,
and so I set about getting some basic facts on cheese in place, and I was
honestly surprised by some trivia that I picked up:



v There are over 2,000 varieties of cheese – And I had always thought that the cheese I ate
was the only one in the world





v Remains of cheese have been found in Egyptian tombs over 4,000 years old –
And I had always wondered why
mommies love cheese.



v The terms “Big Wheel” and “Big Cheese” originally referred to those who
were wealthy enough to purchase a whole wheel of cheese –
And I had always dreamt of building up my libido
or knowledge respectively.


The visit was to the Go Cheese plant at Mancher, owned by Parag Milk Foods. The trip involving various Women of Substance and several other bloggers was amazing, the welcome and
hospitality as mesmerising as the cheese that they produce.




Though it was my second visit to the Cheese factory, having accompanied a team of food bloggers and media personnel to a traditional Maharashtrian welcome almost a year back, I gladly accepted the invitation this time, since I had the opportunity to be part of  the initiative by Femina and be able to witness and express my views on women and their empowerment.




Though the initial travel hiccups which resulted in a delayed start, we were welcomed with some amazing coolants and cheesy snacks to be followed by a brief introduction on the history
of the company and its foray into manufacture of cheese to become one of the
leading producers of cheese in the country.





A short trip to the
nearby cow farm left us spell bound as we saw the professional and the most
modern and scientific method of milking and animal husbandry.








Coming back to the
plant, we were treated to a sumptuous lunch after which the short rest was
something we were not very keen on. 


The reason being we were all raring to go
for the visit to the ultra-modern cheese manufacturing plant in the country.



The cheesy affair
continued in the evening with the large spread of cheese and cheese products being
on offer, before we finally bid adieu with a heavy heart to embark on our
journey back to Mumbai with a goodie bag full of cheese and more cheese.




Ever since I came back,
I cheese-in and cheese-out and had been eager to pen down the story of the most
efficient cheese plant in the country. So, here it goes…


The story of Parag Milk
Foods was set in the tiny hamlet of a small village called Mancher in the
outskirts of Pune. Mancher, a village where most of the villagers were engaged
in husbandry for a living ever since the advent of the Operation Flood in 1970,
the farmers used to supply milk to the local co-operatives and very soon, as
expected, supply over-shot the demand, forcing the farmers to throw away the
milk on the forcefully imposed milk-holidays, thus seriously affecting their
livelihood.


The initiative to
breathe new life to the village and bring all the milk back home was the
foundation on which this Company was born.


Parag Milk Foods
manufactures all its products based on cow’s milk alone starting initially with
the traditional products like the packed and pouched Milk, Paneer, Dahi and Ghee,
the products which are used by every single household in our country.


The products were
marketed under the brand name “Gowardhan” which very soon went on to become a
brand name synonymous with pure milk and products made of pure cow’s milk.


The stringent quality
standards that are maintained in the manufacture and packing of its products soon
made Gowardhan into a strong brand equity.


Like everyone else,
Gowardhan too had to move with the times and adopt change to 
cater to the needs
and tastes of the younger generation. A complete brand revamp with the strategy
to adapt and evolve with the changing consumer preferences promoted the
re-birth and christening of “Go”.


“Go” as the face of the
brand came into existence in 2009 with the introduction of products that would
sync with the changing taste buds and the open economic scenario. International
products like Yoghurt, UHT Milk and most importantly, Cheese was introduced.


Every name has a story
behind it and so has “Go”. This two lettered word is derived as an acronym from
the earlier name “Gowardhan” but has actually two different connotations
attached to it, the first being that “Go” resonates like “Gau”, the Sanskrit
word for Cow.


Apart from being just
an acronym or resonating word, the word “Go” embodies in itself the act of
going, the energetic spirit that we relate to and synergises well with “Get,
Set, Go”, the attitude that describes the beliefs of today’s young generation.


I and Go do share an
important aspect in common. As writing and blogging is a passion for me, so is
cheese making for Go. With one of the largest cheese plants in Asia today
boasting of an installed capacity of manufacturing 40 MT of the largest
international quality cheese range per day under the most stringent quality
norms, Go Cheese can be relished and savoured by us in probably any hotels,
restaurants and pizza chains across the country, that we could think of.


When anything is done
with passion, can accolades be far behind? With continuous in-house R&D and
constant innovation, whether in terms of its products, or its packaging and
convenience for the consumers, Go has been the proud recipient of many national
and international awards and there is still a long way to go.


So let’s all smile and say “Cheese”


When it comes to
Cheese, Go is the only way to go.
Yeh Cheez Badi Hai Mast-Mast.

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Food Review – Chili’s American Grill Bar, Vashi
A sudden drive down to Navi Mumbai
from the comforts of the western suburbs of Mumbai on a lazy Sunday morning
which would otherwise had been quite tiring and boring turned out to be real
value for time trip as we landed up at the newly opened Chili’s, the American
Grill Bar at Inorbit Mall, Vashi.

As we entered and were led to our
table, we were introduced to the cherubic girl, Millie. Indeed we are appalled
by the overwhelming hospitality of this host, the effervescent and ever smiling.

As if one was not enough and as I was
trying out rhyming Chili with Millie, walked in Vinay, the Manager, who was
absolutely courteous and down to earth. Literally to the core, he would just
kneel down on the floor next to our chairs while talking to us softly.

We surely needed to get the hang of
everything so decided to start with the appetisers and end with the desserts.
But with the Mexican names of the dishes, not too familiar to my tongue and the
palate as well, I decided to play it safe and rather suggested that they play
around with the tongue-twisters and suggest to us the dishes that they would
prefer us to savour.

Quenching our
thirst with the Appetisers:

They had an amazing range of
appetisers, from cocktails to mocktails and beer to wine. I preferred to go for
the non-alcoholic ones since I had to drive down back to Malad, almost close to
50 kms and I surely wouldn’t like to be notorious for road rage.

We started off with Sea Breeze, which
seemed to be a Chili signature mix of Apple and Strawberry with a splash of
soda.  We found it almost reasonably
sweet and appealing to our taste buds and perhaps the right combination to
quench our thirst on an otherwise humid summer day.

Then we moved on to Mango Mojitea,
which was a fresh tea based mojitos with delicious fruit flavour and mint
leaves. The unique flavour and the tinge of mint made it quite appealing and refreshing.

Breaking fast
with the Starters:

Vinay suggested the Ultimate Dipper,
which would be quite enough for our family. And sure it was more than enough,
because the large platter, in which it was served with the dips quite elegantly
placed in tandem on a pedestal in the middle, was rather sufficient to serve an
army.

There is an option to choose any 5 of
the 8 starters that would be served in this dish and that’s probably the only
occasion, where we dared to suggest our choices. We took a wild guess to choose
the Fried Paneer, The Quesedillas Bites, The Texas Cheese Poppers, the Boneless
Chicken Wings and the Original Chicken Crispers.  Though we initially had apprehensions that it
was steeply priced, but after devouring the crispy paneer and the juicy
chicken, we changed our opinion to admit that it is worth the price, being in
itself a tummy full meal.

Devouring the
Main Course:

We ordered for a Combo Fajita, where
faced with an option to choose any two between the three varieties on offer
being the Tender grilled steak, the Chicken spicy garlic and Lime grilled
shrimp, we settled for the latter two. The serving was quite elaborate and was
served with onion and bell pepper.

Not having tried out the sea food
options yet, we went by our impulse rather than knowledge when we ordered for
the Chipotle Salmon. When it arrived, the first look was enough to fall in love
with. It was salmon fillet seasoned with south western spices and served with
chipotle rice, roasted jalapeno-corn salsa and a good variety of smoky chipotle
creams sauces.

Relishing the
Desserts:

Chocolate lovers that my wife and my
daughters are, they had no ado choosing the chocolaty varieties. Here Millie
suggested that the combination of the desserts that we chose would make it a
bit too chocolaty and hence advised that we drop of one of the molten stuff and
instead go for a regular yummilicious cake, and how right she was.

We first went for the Molten Chocolate
Cake with was just absolutely delicious being warmed chocolate cake with
chocolate fudge filling topped with a lavish scoop of vanilla ice cream under a
crunchy chocolate shell, which is a steal.

The less chocolaty one that we went
for was the Carrot Cake which surely looked gorgeous when presented. It was a
rich moist carrot cake topped with white choco frostings crumbled with roasted
premium hazelnuts.

Calling for the
check and winding up:

All throughout the good two hours or
more that we spent enjoying the amazing delicacies on offer; Vinay and Millie
were absolutely patient with us and rather kept on asking us regularly whether
we were relishing their suggestions.

Though being a sultry Sunday afternoon
in a humid and hot climate, the restaurant was witnessing footfalls in quite
large numbers, that vouches for the popularity of the brand and the loyalty
that this outlet has gained over the just over a month that it started off in
that part of the city.

The meal was sumptuous, the
hospitality even better. It was a great experience and a worthy way to spend a
day out. We surely left with a promise to ourselves that we would come back
soon for more.
I would give this restaurant a rating
of 4 / 5 and an honest additional star for Vinay and Millie, our hosts for the
afternoon.

Isn’t it a coincidence that just
around six months back, my eldest daughter had visited the Powai restaurant of
this amazing chain serving in over 31 countries and had written a review of the
same in her blog post http://dclementia.blogspot.in/2014/12/food-reviewon-chilis-grill-and-bar.html
and it is only befitting that her Dad is back with family for a casual dining
at their second restaurant opened in this city and  writing this review on my blog post.


Check out their amazing Tax-Mex style
cuisine at https://www.zomato.com/mumbai/chilis-vashi-navi-mumbai

Click to add a blog post for Chili's on Zomato

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My favorite Singaporean street treat
When I think of Singapore and its street
food the first and foremost thing which comes to my mind is Hokkien Mee.

Yeah, it’s true that this amazing
chicken dish can be found across the Asian belt of Malaysia and Thailand too,
but nothing to beat the authentic taste with which the hawkers here in
Singapore dish out this delicacy.
Stories and legends abound about the
origin of this dish, but most of the Singaporeans would swear that this
delicacy originate in the area of Rocher. This claim seems to have some
substance as I came to know that in many parts of the country this dish is even
called Rocher Mee. To be honest, if you travel across to the neighboring
Malaysia or even to Thailand, you would be served an absolutely different variety,
perhaps a fried back variety or perhaps you may even be surprised to be served
a soup variety.
As you intrude into the privacy of the
culinary secrets of the Singaporeans, you would be told that the dish Hokkien Mee actually refers to the thick yellow noodles which is lavishly used in and
forms the base of this preparation. A little prod further and you will be
pleasantly surprised that this variety of noodles had actually originated from
the Fujian province of China.

Even in Singapore as you travel across the
city and the country, you will be served with two different variations of this
dish. In some areas, you would get the wet type and in other places you may
perhaps be served with the dry variant. The wet variant is made using a
combination of yellow noodles and thick rice vermicelli, which they call as bee
hoon. For the wet variant, the thick bee hoon is replaced with the thin one.
I would always recommend tasting this
authentic dish from the hawkers only just because of the reason that they use
charcoal to fry their noodles. These hawkers who are no less than amazing Wok
masters in any way would swear by the use of charcoal stove as the best means
to heat a wok. Apart from the aroma of the charcoal that it lends to the dish,
the charcoal stove ensures that the wok is evenly heated, rather than a gas
stove which makes the bottom of the wok hotter than the sides.
For more details on authentic Singaporean food, please do visit http://discover.stayfareast.com/

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