KOCHI: The bells are ringing and it is heartening to see the city abuzz with the spirit of Christmas. Gigantic stars, lavish decorations, well-lit trees and cheerful laughter have adorned homes and churches across Kochi. The season has also transformed into a wonderful time for market after a post-flood lull.
Plum cakes, synonymous with Christmas, continue to dominate sales, though big and small bakers have opted to slightly experiment with plum varieties.Anns Bakery and Confectionary has introduced Scottish plum which is a mix of black-current and crushed almonds in plum, while the favourite this season at Navya Bakers is the plum celebration which is a mix of fruits,butter, spices and salt.
Home bakers have chosen to popularise the family Christmas hamper, consisting of a variety pack including brownies, fruit tarts, ginger cookies, chocolates, wine, jam and juice. According to T&R Kitchen co-founder Rekha George, hampers are gaining popularity among the upper-middle class families.
"Our hamper varieties contain at least 11 products and cost between Rs 3,500- Rs 4,500. We have sold more than 20 already. Jar desserts are also in huge demand. This time, we have introduced flavours, including coconut pudding, coffee, strawberry cheese and baked caramel yogurt among others," she said.
Home cooked delicacies are in huge demand this season. Duck roast, duck curry, pork vindaloo are the flavour of the season.
"There is a huge demand for appam and duck roast. Ghee rice, beef and chicken cutlets are also favourites. Though people do make food at homes, they opt for home-made delivered food when there are a larger number of guests," said Lisa Joji, a food vlogger. Home-made wine, in different flavours, is also the toast of the season.
Though people opt to purchase stars from local markets, there is a growing demand for eco-friendly Christmas tree decorations in the city. Deepika Kovvuri has been promoting eco-friendly
popsicle sticks and says people are warming up to the idea of environment-friendly crib and tree decorations. There are takers for customised decorations too.
"Wreaths have always held a traditional value. Candles to add to festive decorations. There are people who seek candle-light arrangements.Angels and reindeers made of ceramic give the final touch," she said.