How did all the Gujaratis take over this suburb of London?? I swear from the minute we walked off the train we were bombarded with smells and sights that made us think we were in India. The only reason we knew we weren’t is because the roads were a little too clean (but only marginally). There were street food stalls selling everything from dosas to pani puri to seasoned corn kernels. But what made me stop and shriek with excitement was the gola stand.
Now keep in mind that as much as we love Indian street food we CAN’T have most of it in India because of all the nasty buggies in the uncooked or under cooked food. This is always torture for me because I would eat street food for every meal of my life if given a choice! And Gola is the ultimate forbidden street food. It is basically shaved ice stuck onto a reed stick with sugary fruit syrups poured over it, like a snow cone and popsicle in one. When I was a kid visiting India and my parents didn’t care about the nasty buggies in the food and I ate golas all the time. You would see the street vendor with a huge block of ice covered in burlap with specks of dirt and straw sticking all over it. A quick wash revealed ‘clean’ ice that they would chip away and put into the ice machine. It really is one of my favorite street foods but as a kid I spent more time in the bathroom and doctors office than not because of eating this way. We ordered what I consider to be the most authentic combination of Kala Kata, which is a mouth-puckering Indian blackberry and Kachi Keri (green mango). The gola man then sprinkled chaat masala on it. It was so fun to enjoy a gola again and especially with Nam and Avinash.
Wembley, you will always have a special place in my heart for letting me have gola again and if I ever crave it again I know there is a place in the world that I can get it.