Beautiful silk sarees seem to be the choice of beach-wear this year in Puri. You can hardly enter the water in them. It’s also rather stormy, with a chance of hurricanes right now. So the thing to do seems to be to amble on the sand and look for things to eat. The man balancing a whole lot of pans on his shoulder offered four kinds of Odiya sweets, including rasgulla. But I’d stopped at every sweet shop on my way down to the beach, so I gave it a miss.
I was very tempted by the heap of guavas. Nearly ripe guavas, sliced up and sprinkled with salt and powdered red chili is an all time favourite beach food. I’ve eaten it from Goa, down the Kerala coast, up the east coast from Madurai to Bengal, and further east to Myanmar and all the way to Vietnam. I smelt the guavas. Not yet ripe enough, unfortunately. There are some who prefer the fruit very green, but I’m not one of them.
But there was a life save: tender coconut. Just the thing on this hot and humid day. The vendor chopped off the top and gave me the water. Then he split the coconut into two to give me the gelatinous white flesh, still sweet and tender. You scoop it up with a piece of the shell. Very eco-friendly. No single use item there. Not even the coconut. After you’ve finished with it the shell and the coir are used. Perfect beach food for the day.