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This is what Toronto’s huge Indian sweets festival looked like this year

This is what Toronto’s huge Indian sweets festival looked like this year


One of my fondest memories growing
up is being in the kitchen with my mom from
morning until night preparing sweets for Diwali. Diwali is the festival of lights
and just like Christmas, it takes a lot of prep. Typically during this time of year, people exchange gifts and sweets so today we’re going to a
Diwali fair to show you how much prep goes into this. Deepa: I know this is your big Diwali mela, so there’s a ton of stuff happening here. In terms of prep for you, how long does it take to prep for this event?
Is it weeks, months? Param: It’s several months. We’re here three months in advance. We’re trying to get all our
international orders out of the way.
Then we got our North American orders out of the way, then federal level orders out of the way. Then we come back to the GTA and for the last couple of weeks, we try to make enough as we can for this event. Deepa: How many hours do people spend in the kitchen making all of this? Param: We’re here 24/7, around the clock. We’re not leaving. Deepa: The thing we were talking about
before it’s not like you make one batch and when you sell out, you sell out. You’re constantly replenishing this over a week.
There are a lot of sweets here. If you had to pick one, that is the most popular around Diwali, which one would you say
this is? Param: If I had to pick one, because different cultures have different favourites, but the most popular and most traditional are the gulab jamun or the barfi. It’s the oldest sweet ever created in India,
so those two by far are the most popular and they taste the best too. Deepa: They do! The time I’ve been waiting for.
I’m now properly equipped. I can actually shop for my sweets so in this one room alone, there’s over
90 different types of Indian sweets.
I have my work cut out for me but it’s a good thing I know what I want. The first thing that I want is right here! Jaelbi!
The best way I can describe this to anyone who hasn’t had this
is it’s basically like fried sugar syrup. Gonna grab me some of those. The way that they’ve laid out is really organized. Row-by-row, you increase in price. The first row here this is where your cheapest sweets
will be and if you zig-zag around the prices get more expensive so at least you know, if you’re working
within a budget you can stay within your budget
because of the pricing system. Diwali marks the victory over light over dark and good over evil. Typically around this time of year,
feasting is a big part of it.
The food that is most commonly associated
with Diwali are sweets, so if there’s something we love more than oil,
it’s probably sugar.
And Diwali also marks the beginning of the Hindu
New Year, so when you’re giving sweets to your family and friends it’s usually to portray
messages of prosperity, health, wealth for the rest of the year.
Also, during this time of year it’s also important to give to
those is need.

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