Have you ever had a chance to travel in the world famous local train from north to south Bombay? Chances are, you have definitely smelt something pleasant – like biscuits baking after crossing Vile Parle station. That’s exactly what it was!
The world’s largest selling biscuit, Parle-G was named after the suburb Vile Parle, where the biscuit was made. What began as Parle Gluco eight years before India became independent in 1939 became the country’s most popular biscuit and is now synonymous with cutting chai. The oldest of this biscuit’s factory situated in Vile Parle has been shut down after 87 years.
The company’s executive director mentioned that the reason why this legendary production unit was closing down. The unit’s production capacity had decreased gradually since a few years and when the decision to close the unit was announced, it was hardly making sense to continue making biscuit there. As anyone from Bombay would know, it is very expensive to maintain factories in the suburbs due to the upward trend in property prices and inflation over the years.
Schools across the city would regularly organize tours to the factory where employees of the company would explain to children how the famous biscuits were made from start to end. At the end of the tour, each one of us would receive a freshly baked packet of biscuits. Alas, the children will not be able to able to experience this from now.
Let us delve a little bit into history now. The factory was set up in 1929 and produced candies at the outset. These candies were widely available at stores all around the neighborhood. The production of Parle-G biscuits began ten years later in 1939. Over time, there have been many competitors who have tried to mimic Parle-G biscuits. Though their products have been close to the original biscuits, there is definitely no biscuit tastier and cheaper than our very own Parle-G biscuits! I’m sure all the readers will agree to this premise, right?