The pizza in Calcutta is so good that it is literally unrivaled worldwide. Although the capital of West Bengal is considered the stronghold of the best Indian gastronomic specialties, an Italian entrepreneur has succeeded in ousting the supremacy of pakoras, puris and dosas with a lethal weapon: “zero-kilometre” mozzarella. Or almost: to be more precise, it is produced 30 kilometres from the City of Joy in a factory in Hogolkuria. Annamaria Forgione has successfully set up a Women’s Empowerment activity that is decisive for the success of the “Mozzarella Project”: a network that has purchased milk from about 50 women in the Bengalese countryside at fair prices since 2005, thanks to the cows the women obtained with a micro-credit from the NGO IIMC (Institute for Indian Mother and Child founded by Dr Sujit Kumar Bramochary, the original creator of the project together with the Italian Consulate of Calcutta). The 100 litres the peasants milk daily go to supply the factory in Hogolkuria, where thanks to the Italian entrepreneur’s initiative, the staff is trained in the production of the typical cheese from Southern Italy. The constant supply for her restaurant “Fire and Ice”, inaugurated in Calcutta in 2005 in addition to the first original “Fire and Ice” Annamaria Forgione manages in Kathmandu, has made it possible to reach excellent quality levels and transform the city into an unmissable destination for the most demanding pizza lovers. In addition to the cows’ milking on a domestic scale and the guaranteed sterile conditions in the production units where the mozzarella is hand-pulled, its incredible freshness depends on some of the products grown directly in the Bengali countryside such as Tulsi (Indian variant of Mediterranean basil) and soft wheat, together with the use of Italian specialties such as peeled tomatoes. But above all, the success is thanks to a unique and special ingredient: the ethical spirit of pink entrepreneurship.
( 2017 )