While I had watched the film Saudagar several times over the decades, I first heard of Nolen Gur only a few years ago, when Sweet Bengal opened an outlet near my house and I had my first Nolen Gur Rossogulla. My eyes popped out of my head at the unexpectedness of it. It’s not a taste as much as an experience. As the molten, golden goodness flows down your throat, it tells you stories of the short winters of Bengal, warm days and chilly nights when the sap rises from the fertile earth of the Ganga Delta to the top of the date palms. Of long-limbed toddy tappers who expertly cleave into the heart of the palm and insert a bamboo spiel through which the sweet sap drips into an earthen pot. This sap is then cooked for hours over a smoky woodfire adding to its complex flavour profile. Long story short, Nolen Gur tastes like Hemant Kumar sings Tum Pukar Lo.
Saudagar is at once a eulogy to the Nolen Gur and the craftspeople who make it as it is an analogy of the deep gender schism of the work and lives of men and women.
To read more of my review of this wonderful, ahead of it times film follow the link: