Bengal's two passions -- football and sweets -- have come together to mark the soccer fever in the state, as sweet-makers design special sweetmeats inspired by the U-17 World Cup emblem.
With ingredients such as pista and kesar, the sweets are being made to look like the colourful logo of the ongoing under-17 FIFA championship, being held in India for the first time.
Sweet shop Felu Modak of Hooghly district in West Bengal has introduced the 'Logo Sandesh', which has the emblem's symbolic design of the sea, a banyan tree and a kite embossed on it, the colours provided by bits of pistachio, saffron and chocolate.
Those with a sweet tooth can also try out its special 'Football Sandesh' -- shaped just like a ball.
"During the Asian Games held in Delhi in 1982, an Apu sandesh had become greatly popular," recalled Amitava Dey, an office-bearer of the Paschim Banga Mishtanno Byabsayee Samiti (West Bengal sweetmakers' association).
Apu, a frolicking elephant, was the Games' mascot.
Many of the sweet shops of Kolkata -- which hosted two games yesterday -- are getting ready for the next round of matches with special football offerings.
The popular chain Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick will be rolling out a 'Trophy Sandesh' and 'Logo Sandesh' in the coming days, Sudip Mallick said on its behalf.
"As the football fever reaches a crescendo, we will start displaying the sweets in our outlets to commemorate the hosting of the prestigious event by India," he said.
Felu Modak is also planning out a 'Memento Sandesh', which will be like the Football championship trophy.
The 'Memento Sandesh', which will weigh over a kg, will seek to attract groups of football fans, Dey said on behalf of the popular shop on G T Road.
A representative of another well-known sweet outlet, Sen Mahasay, said, "We also have plans to commemorate the enthusiasm of Bengalis with the game of football and the historic significance of Kolkata hosting World Cup matches along with some other cities".
Most sweets are in the Rs 30-60 range, though the bigger ones can cost Rs 100.
"We are not using edible colours. Just nuts and natural ingredients and some cake-mix," Mallick said.
By the time the finals are held in the city on October 28, football frenzy will be at its peak. And the sweetmakers hope that along with the Games, sweets will rule.
"When it comes to teams, there is rivalry because everybody has their favourites. But loyalty will not be split when it comes to sandesh," Dey said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)