Every household In Kalimpong relies on a hearty helping of rice-dal-tarkari with ubiquitous relishes or achaar on the side. These can range from the famed native chilly called Dalley to tender bamboo shoots, pickled vegetables like radishes, Himalayan spices, and peppers like timber, filungey, silam, chimphing and on and on! Of course, the humble and hearty momo-thukpa and its variants are always on the table, and an occasion, big or small, calls for some sweet selroti (fried rice flour doughnuts)!
While fresh ingredients from local farms are enjoyed, many Himalayan delicacies preserved using special fermentation techniques such as gundruk(fermented mustard greens), churpee(fermented cottage cheese), and kinema(fermented soybean)are equally important.
Thanks to the active cottage industries in the region, Kalimpong is a snack lover’s paradise! Its signature snacks such as Kalimpong lollipops, sweetmeats, and biscuits known as Peda, batare, khajur are mandatory souvenirs picked by every visitor. Cottage industries in villages like Gitabling also contribute to the production of the famous Kalimpong cheese, a gouda-like Swiss cheese loved by cheese connoisseurs globally. The region is also a robust producer of handmade noodles like wheat noodles, egg noodles, and Phing (glass noodles).