Food Travel

Which Goan Food Specialties You Should Buy As Gift?

Goan Food
Written by Jane Sophia

I believe Indians alone buy food as souvenirs and gift them to friends, family members, and relatives. Whenever Indians go on a vacation, before they leave their destinations, they find out the best local food specialties like Goan Food  and take genuine efforts to buy them to take them back home as gifts/edible souvenirs.

If you too follow this practice and you are from a different country, please say so in the comment form below.

Wherever you go, there is always something to buy, especially food items such as sweets, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and unique fruits that are endemic. These are called ‘food souvenirs’-nice phrase-eh?

Indian cities are diverse in food culture as well as religious practices. Every big city offers something special as food souvenirs.

For example:

  • New Delhi is famous for Agra peta
  • Arani, a small town in Tamil Nadu is known for Makkan peta
  • Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu sells unique halwa
  • Calcutta’s rasgulla is world famous.

Some cities are known for more than one food specialty. Goa is famous for about eight Goan Food specialties that tourists to Goa do not forget to buy.

Goa is an Indian state situated on the Arabian Sea coast.

I believe not many are aware of Goan food specialties as the majority of the travelers to Goa head to pubs and bars as soon as they set their foot on Goa because the liquor is unbelievably cheap in Goa. However, I am not talking about liquors as food souvenirs, buddy.

Read on to know Goan’s special edibles and I am sure you will thank me apart from sharing this information with your gourmet connoisseurs.

A savvy traveler is one who also can find and buy local food souvenirs.

Goan food cuisine

Have you tasted the Goan food in Goa? It is certainly unique though it is a mixture of Kannadiga and Keralite type of cooking. The name of the Goan cuisine is called ‘konkani cuisine’. Yes, you can call the Goan food is a multi-cultural cuisine.

One of the unique Goan spices is Kokum-a few varieties of this fruity spice are endemic to Ga.

Goan Food: Kokum Squash

Kokum squash is a famous fruit-based drink that is exclusive to Goa. Try to buy a locally made kokum crush instead buying a branded bottle. Kokum squash makes a great edible souvenir from Goa.

Goan Food: Kulkul

Goan Food: Kulkul

It is a sweet cum savory specialty from Goa. I would call it an Indian doughnut that is crispy and crunchy too. This is generally made during Christmas in Goa and by the Christians only. However, I suppose, it is made by all and served with tea in Catholics’ home. The main ingredients are all-purpose flour, sugar, egg, and butter.

Goan Food: Perad

Goan Food Perad

I think you can guess the basic ingredient of this succulent sweet. It is made of ripe guava fruit. This variety of guava fruit that is all pinkish red inside is widely available in all parts of India. It is not as sweet as the other variety, the pulp of which is white. The Goans call it “guava cheese”. It is also known as ‘guava jam’ which is apt as it is indeed a solidified guava fruit jam.

Perad is not available in others of India. Hence, it is a unique edible souvenir that a tourist to Goa should buy.

Goan Food: Bebinca

Goan Food Bebinca

Whoops! That looks yummy and salivating! You may probably know that Goa was under Portuguese influence for a long time and naturally, you can find Portuguese culture, food habit in Goa.

Bebinca is a Portuguese sweet, a pudding rather, that consists of several layers. If you have patience, you can make this sweet as a seven-layered one.

If you happen to visit any bakery in Goa, you can buy this. Inside the bakery, you can sit and order Bebinca. It is served ice-cream that is not actually frozen. You can say it is semi-frozen.

Goan Food: Chorizos

Goan Food Chorizos

Chorizos are 100% imported food item in Goa. I mean, it originated from Italy or Portuguese. Yes, it is a meat sausage made of pork. A typically Goan dish that oozes with oil and Goan spices. As the Chorizos are not available in any other state in India, it is certainly a food souvenir from Goa. However, you cannot carry them for long before you deliver as a gift. It perishes soon if cooked. What you see in the image is an uncooked sausage.

Goan Food: Bolinhas

Goan Food Bolinhas

Bolinhas is a tasty cookie using coconut, all-purpose flour, semolina, vanilla essence, egg, and sugar.  Though it looks crusted and crispy outside, when you bite, it crumbles inside. Sometimes, instead of vanilla flavor, cardamom is used.

Goans love to eat Bolinhas accompanied by a chocolate sauce or banana jam. This crunchy coconut cookie is again a Christmas time preparation.

Goan Food: Dodol

Goan Food Dodol

No, it is not chocolate as it appears, mate. Dodol is actually a man-made toffee made with coconut, jaggery, and rice flour. I read the Goans use purely local jaggery which they believe is something special. You might have seen it in various places in the world but since you are visiting Goa, why don’t you buy this delicious edible souvenir?

Goan Food: Molho and Balchao

Goan Foad Molho

It is a pickle made with freshly caught seafood from the Goan coast. Prawn that is also known as lobster in India is a popular seafood in Goa. To make the pickle to have a long shelf life, Goans use coconut vinegar. It is an accompaniment to rice and roti in Goa.

Balchao

Oh, I almost forgot. When you go to Goa, try some of the following Goan food specials that cannot be wrapped as a souvenir but are to be eaten then and there:

  • Canja de galinha – A chicken stew. Authentic Goan food
  • Arroz doce – A dessert is also known as kheer in India but only this a Portuguese kheer.
  • Patoleo– A unique food of Goa. Rice, mixed with lentils and cooked in turmeric leaves with jaggery, and coconut.

The above three Goan food specialties are highly recommended by frequent travelers to Goa, India.

About the author

Jane Sophia

4 Comments

  • This is a wonderful article..brought back so many memories of my time in Goa! Bebinca, Kokum Squash and cashews are my favorite gifts to pick when I am in Goa. But after reading this I think I need to try all the other things on my next trip.

  • The feature image displays a typical cake from Odisha, called ‘Enduri Pitha’. I thought you must have it mentioned somewhere in your write-up. Disappointed to see it missing. At least, the caption should have this info! Thanks.

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