Pran\'s Naga Pickle

Pickle lovers will rejoice that there’s a new kid on the block in the Naga pickle market. Or will they? The problem is that this delicious bottle of pickle above is from Pran - a name that I do not associate with great quality food products. They make a lot of snack related products in Bangladesh - and a lot of it is crap. Their aam shotto is simply disgusting for example. But all this is subjective….let me rather point to my main point of concern - do you remember Sudan 1? Yes it is a potentially carcinogenic dye found in chilli powder and there was a big broo-ha-ha about it a couple of years ago when it was realised that a lot of foodstuffs had this dye. The European Union banned Sudan 1 containing products. And it will be no surprise to you when I tell you that Pran products were blacklisted.

Despite all this, I am too much of a petuk and I tried the damn thing. ( And yes, I am also an ex-cancer patient in remission!) Its quite a mush and resembles red coloured mud. It sits there at the side of your plate, like a colloid, promising a punch to your taste buds and tumours in your liver.

It was good. Had a bite. It does not however have the overwhelming aroma that the original Mr Naga has. If you recall, I have already blogged about the original and wonderful Mr Naga ( of Shahnaz Foods). You will see from the comments on that post that the product has changed and sadly not for the better. Commentators have complained about its lack of bite. It has lost its capsaicin content I reckon ( that compound which produces the hot taste). The label says 70 percent Naga chilli. Pran of course gives no idea about the percentage content and it’s label is all but unreadable without a magnifying glass. To be fair to Pran the microscopic writing reveals that it is Halal compliant and HACCP ( a food safety standard) compliant too. Yes but can you believe it…?

For me, Mr Naga’s manufacturing origins - the UNITED KINGDOM - gives me sufficient assurance to continue buying this product. The only downside is, as I said, the aroma is still as strong as ever and makes your fingers pong long after you have had the stuff. Not good for stroking your pets, let me tell you or for that matter your spouse….

In fact, according to Syeed (see in the comment section), there is yet another Naga pickle called “Naga Naga” made by a UK Bangladeshi businessman. I have not tried it yet but am salivating at the thought of doing so.

ps sorry about the rubbish pic.