Corona effect: Kashmiris ditch local bakers, choose packed biscuits, raw flour

Corona effect: Kashmiris ditch local bakers, choose packed biscuits, raw flour

Srinagar: In the haste of stocking up in every way possible amid the lockdown, people are preferring to buy raw flour and biscuits in bulk rather than traditional breads that are popular in Kashmir valley but which don’t have much shelf life.
Sales of biscuits and raw flour have gone up in the past few days but local bakers have been left without customers. Though the local bakery items are much fresher, people say they are uncertain about the hygiene and maintaininging of safety measures by bakers during the process of making them.
“People are either going for biscuits to nibble them with tea or buying raw flour to prepare hand-made bread at their homes, with all the safety and precautions,” said a local.
Usually, the traditional breads in Kashmir are made bare-handed as the process requires mixing of ghee with wheat flour and then induction in a hot oven.
A local baker in Srinagar said, “The demand for local bakery items has gone down because of the scare of Covid-19. People are not turning up to get fresh breads. I used to sell bakery goods to as many as 200 people a day, but now hardly anyone comes. Only a small number of people turn up at early morning.”
He added that people are preferring to keep enough essential stock at their homes, due to which they are looking for alternatives available in the market that last longer.
A baker in Anantnag said, “I have been selling bakery items for many decades and I’ve never seen such decline in our daily customers. People are reluctant to consume local breads, fearing about hygiene and condition of our breads. But we, too, are taking all precautions as we are very much concerned about the health of our customers.”
A wholesaler of bakery goods, Sabzar Ahmad, said, “We are receiving demands for biscuits and flour items from dealers and shopkeepers for many days now. There is a drastic increase in the demands of such items, which people find easy and safe to eat in these times.”
Similarly, a grocery store owner in Srinagar said, “Biscuits and flour times are running out of stock as there is huge demand for them. People stay indoors and prefer to keep such items, which can last longer and are also considered to be safe, readily available at home.”

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