Calicut has been around gastronomically even before Vasco da Gama set foot here. Kozhikode or Calicut is a natural habitat for spices, coastal life and lush panorama, all of which influences the cuisine of the region. Mapilla (Moplah) cuisine dominates the city’s food scene. The intriguing mingling of Arab culture throughout the local gastronomy, presents an interesting spin on an otherwise predictable coastal cuisine. Calicut’s produce markets are a great way to start exploring food credentials of the city. Kozhikode halwa stands for everything southern. This delicious fruity dessert lasts up to two weeks and can be taken back home as a sweet souvenir. One unique dish found only in the Malabar areas of Kerala is Alisa or Aleesa, which can be tasted during the holy month of Ramadan. After your stroll around the beach, satisfy the hunger pangs with Puttu and fish stew. Puttu or steamed rice cake is paired with a steaming hot fish stew or with beef. Wash it down with a glass of milk sarbat, made from sugar, sabja seeds and Nannari syrup. Crabs and mussels are integral part of Calicut’s food scene. They can be had in curry form or like a simple stir fry. For Arabian influence try Kasba, easily available in Muslim areas of Kozhikode.