A pleasant misnomer

BY SUMAYYA JAMIL. LONDON. UNITED KINGDOM. BUT FOREVER IN PAKISTAN cafe1 Midnight food streets are not a luxury in Pakistan, they are a necessity. With dinner time for the average Pakistani at 9pm it isn’t a wonder why no one is ready to sleep before midnight, even on a weekday. Most nights after a home cooked heavy meal, one ventured out to either have a sweet treat of creamy nutty Baluchi ice cream, sweet earthy sugar cane juice or indeed a milky ‘espresso’. For a country with a strong ‘chai tea‘ culture, coffee isn’t exactly the warm drink of choice. However an exception is made with this misnomer of a drink. You would park your car as the side of a brightly lit, bustling food street, buzzing with people at odd hours of the night; pleasantly ‘attacked’ by a horde of young ‘food pimps’ as I call them, luring you to purchase from the shops they work for. Rolling your window down to a bunch of eager ‘waiters’ you would beckon the ‘espresso‘ coffee guy and order a drink which vaguely resembled a cappuccino – warm, sweet, frothy and with faint aromatics of what may at some point have been instant coffee, drowned out by sugar and milk. Though an acquired Pakistani taste, there was always something rather satisfyingly perfect about this hot drink. Nothing quite like it’s Italian derivative, but nonetheless soul satisfying…

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