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Golgappas makes frequent entries into White House menu

Golgappas makes frequent entries into White House menu


Washington, May 14: Golgappa, pani puri, or puchka is making frequent entry into the White House receptions, with guests being served this mouth-watering popular Indian street food.

In the last year, it has been served at least a couple of times, the latest being the Rose Garden reception on Monday hosted by President Joe Biden to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.

The guests included scores of Asian Americans and several Indian Americans, including US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who played an important role in the fight against COVID-19.

So far, only samosas have appeared on the White House reception menu. However, golgappas now appear to be catching up with the samosas fast.

“Last year when I was here, there were golgappas or pani puri. This year too, I was looking for them, and then suddenly one of the servers brought in the pani puri or golgappa. That was amazing. The taste was dingy and a little spicy. Perfect!” community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria told PTI after attending the AANHPI reception in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday evening.

A curious Bhutoria met White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford on the grounds of the White House and asked her about the golgappa.

“I asked her, did you make the golgappas in-house? She said, Yes, we made everything in the White House,” he said.

There was another Indian item, 'Khoya', on the White House menu at the reception, Bhutoria said.

“It was sweet and made of khoya, and they called it khoya. That was wonderful. It is good to see in the AANHPI Heritage Month celebration the representation of all the Asian American communities, food, and delicacies, and especially for Indian-American golgappa and khoya,” Bhutoria said in response to a question.

Over the last few years, golgappa has become increasingly popular in the US because of its mouth-watering taste.

“A lot of US administration officials, whether people from the State Department or the White House, have travelled to India many times. I'm sure the counterparts over there say that out of all the street foods, you need to try golgappa. I'm sure they have stopped somewhere, taken them on the roadside, or stayed at one of the five-star hotels. After they tested it out, they said, oh, we must serve this in the White House,” Bhutoria said.

“That's where we have seen golgappas during the Diwali party in the State Department. We see it in so many places now, including the Vice President's House, and so many other things,” he said.

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