Tracing the Roots
The cuisine of a region is intrinsically integrated into the history and culture of the region.
Bengali cuisine is one of the most eclectic of Indian regional cuisines and has been open to foreign influences for more than 800 years.
Turks, Afghans, Mughuls, British, Portuguese, French, Danish, Dutch, Armenians, Chinese and other settlers have played a role in the gastronomical legacy of Bengali cuisine.
Though the civilization of undivided Bengal is 4000 years old, not much is known about the cuisine of the early period, except for rice being a staple. Over the centuries Bengali cuisine has incorporated a wide range of vegetables, fish, meat and spices and different preparation styles - sheddho (boliled), bata (paste), pora (barbecued), bhapa (steamed), bhaja (fried) and jhol-jhal-shorshe (curried).
A protocol of having a typical Bengali meal has evolved traditionally starting with a bitter preparation and ending with sweets.