On the final day of a four day stint assisting a training event I got the following text: Got a package for you from Nepal.
This text was the best news I had received all week. I know it’s a bit pathetic, but I was so excited to come home and open it. I mean, how often does a package arrive from Nepal?
A few weeks earlier I had ordered myself some packs of titaura from Titaura.biz. This is a type of sweet that can only be found in Nepal and thanks to many a fruitless Google search for a British vendor I just buckled and imported some. I somehow cannot see me visiting Nepal (this could change) so if I am to complete this food list I had to import it.
To make the most out of the import price I made sure to buy three different types of titaura. Going clockwise from the top you have ‘Round’, ‘Lamo’ and ‘Lapsi Chatpat’ – there are flavour differences between them and I will get to those in a second.
In order to keep with the description in the book I made sure to go for titaura made from lapsi fruit. It’s a fruit that grows well in the cold mountainous areas and, if Wikipedia is anything to go by, look like green potatoes. Although that could just be the picture.
To make the titaura the lapsi fruit pulp is mixed with sugar, salt and spices before being dried and made into the candy pieces. As a European it is the addition of spices that made this a food item to be sought out and it is worth noting that the amount and types of spice depends on the candy.
Starting off with the flat ‘Lamo’ variety – this is the least flavoured of the three varieties I bought, therefore gives me the best taste of the lapsi fruit. There is a sourness and sweetness to the fruit that makes this piece of candy taste like dried apricot. There is a hint of salt and an afterburn of added chilli.
Next is the cubed ‘Lapsi Chatpat’. The heat of the chilli is kicked up a notch with there being an immediate burn that is complimented by spices that are both earthy and aniseedy. The sourness of the fruit is still there but it takes a bit of a backseat. Of the three this has the most satifying chew.
Finally is the ‘Round’ candy which looks like a narrow fruit rollup. This is the one with the most complex spice profile and I would not be surprised if panch phoron spice mix (especially nigella and cumin) had been added to this. It is the driest, least sour and least salty of the three. This probably has the same amount of heat as the lapsi chatpat.
Of the three I think the ‘Lamo’ was my favourite because it’s the fruitiest, but the others are still interesting. Now excuse me as I get a glass of milk because eating all this titaura has turned my mouth into a furnace. I never thought of candy as spicy… turns out I was wrong.