Lovers of pork from across the city gathered for a warm lunch at the Grail Club on Park Street. The occasion? A celebration to mark the foundation day of The Calcutta Porkaddicts (TCP), who are known for their shared love for all things pork!
After a dull year due to the pandemic, where meet-ups were replaced by virtual luncheons, the November 14 afternoon saw guests trickling in with friends and family in tow. What followed was merrymaking over music, tipple, friendly banter and of course, good food. The theme for the day was Mughlai. On the menu — curated by Cafe Porkotini — was pork biryani, Pork Pagla Bhuna, paratha, raita and firni. “Pagla Bhuna is a delicacy from Bangladesh — primarily made with beef but we have improvised and made it with pork. It is similar to kosha mangsho. There was a lot of trial and error that went into bringing about perfection in this curation,” said Ripan Mahanta, owner, Cafe Porkotini.
Keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic, not only were there plenty of seating arrangement but they were well spaced out too. “We started off in 2016 with a small group, who loved pork, and a small get-together in Calcutta. In 2016, I don’t think the pork scene in Calcutta was as much as it is now... so a small group came together and we went to Tung Nam for a curated lunch. That’s where we started off. What interested us was that all of us hit off really well, the centre-point being pork. From then on, we started off as a group in Calcutta but now we have other chapters in Bombay and Delhi too. Since Covid imposed a lockdown on our physical get-togethers, we improvised and came up with the delivery model of events to keep up the spirit of our members and as the situation improved slightly, we had some events under the hybrid model, where some people sat down at the venue and ate, while some got their food delivered at home. We have kept our events quite flexible since Covid,” said Sutanu Roy, the convener for the Calcutta chapter of The Calcutta Porkaddicts.
Five years is a long time, as was evident when guests took over the microphone, one by one, sharing their stories surrounding pork and The Calcutta Porkaddicts. Despite it being 2021, we were told that there is frequent criticism and judgement surrounding the consumption of pork. The Calcutta Porkaddicts, however, is a non-judgmental space. “We believe very strongly in, ‘eat and let eat’. It is something we passionately believe in and will continue to advocate. Hopefully, there is something for everyone who comes here. Some of the fastest friendships that I have made over the last five years, has been through (The) Calcutta Porkaddicts. Praise the lard!” said Ayan Ghosh, a founding member of The Calcutta Porkaddicts.