Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the chief city of the Indian state of West Bengal and the undisputed sweet capital of India, thanks to the Bengali people’s passion for mishti (sweets). Job Charnock, an English trader who set up a trading post in the area at the end of the seventeenth century, is the putative founder of the city. Under the British East India Company, Calcutta became the administrative and political capital of colonial India. During the nineteenth century, Calcutta reached its apogee as a center of culture, education, and the arts, a period that historians have come to call the Bengal Renaissance. After India gained independence in 1947, Calcutta became the capital of the state of West Bengal. In 2001 its name was officially changed to Kolkata, to reflect the Bengali pronunciation.