Last year, when we visited Pune, my wife, Vibha, was after everyone’s life to pay a visit to the famous Kayani Bakery. “We need to buy the Shrewsbury biscuits,” came the answer when I asked her why? I had never heard of Shrewsbury biscuits, not even Kayani Bakery, so I couldn’t really understand what was the big deal.
Shrewsbury biscuits were available in other Irani bakeries too, but Vibha was stuck on Kayani Bakery. So we had to make a plan to visit Camp, where Kayani Bakery is situated. But when we reached there, we found out that the bakery is closed on Sunday. And it was Sunday that day. And to top it all, we were leaving for Delhi in the evening.
Vibha was very disappointed. To cheer her up, we took her to another Irani bakery that happened to be open on that day, and we found some Shrewsbury biscuits there. This was a surprise because we had heard that at Kayani Bakery, it is very difficult to get your hands on the Shrewsbury biscuits, because they almost fly out of the wood-fired, brick oven they are baked in. Anyways, we got some packed. Everyone was cheerful again, including Vibha. After all, how different could one Shrewsbury biscuit be from another?
When we reached home and opened the box to look at the biscuits, they looked like standard shortcrust biscuits. Eagerly, we picked up one each and took large bites. And we were disappointed. The biscuits were too sweet and too buttery. We couldn’t finish the box and had to throw many of them. I silently decided that we are never buying any Shrewsbury biscuits again.
But then my cousin visited Delhi this month, and because she was with us when we had gone in search of the legendary Kayani Bakery, she knew how curious Vibha was about Kayani bakery’s Shrewsbury biscuits. So she bought a box with her.
This time when we opened the box, we saw that the name Kayani Bakery was embossed on each biscuit. I was reluctant yet curious whether these biscuits would be any different from the ones we had had earlier. So I took a bite.
And these biscuits melted in my mouth. They were just sweet enough and just perfectly short. There was no excess butteriness. On the whole, they were very nice shortcrust biscuits. We understood why Kayani’s stuff was difficult to get while other bakeries almost always have enough stock available.
If you are headed to Pune and specifically to Camp, do visit Kayani Bakery. It is worth tasting these biscuits at least once.