Shiv vada-pav will be as popular as McDonald’s burger: Uddhav Thackeray

November 25th, 2008 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Uddhav ThackerayMumbai, Nov 25 (IANS) Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has said that the branded Shiv vada-pav launched here would gain popularity across the world and even compete with global burger giants like McDonald’s.”My Marathi folks are willing to work hard and now they have got this opportunity in the form of Shiv vada-pav. It will be popular not only in India, but also around the world,” Thackeray said late Monday while launching the branded vada-pav at a glittering function in Shivaji Park here.

He added that a time would come when a customer would close his eyes and bite into a ‘Shiv vada-pav’ and instantly distinguish it from the rest - just like McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Shiv vada-pav is scheduled for a public launch Jan 23 next year, to coincide with party chief Bal Thackeray’s birthday.

Easy to prepare, quick to serve, vada-pav is a vegetarian preparation made of mashed potatoes, dipped in gramflour batter and fried. It is served in a bun with a red chilli-garlic powder, a green chutney paste and a helping of sweet tamarind chutney.

At present, around 200,000 vada-pavs are consumed daily by hungry Mumbaikars craving a quick, cheap and filling snack. Most Mumbaikars swear by vada-pav, available round the year — the roots of which are considered as old as the city itself.

The branded vada-pav was launched at a ‘Vada-pav Sammelan’ (vada-pav conference) here. It featured a competition among 27 professional vada-pav makers from Mumbai, Thane and Baramati that could be used as the standard for the branded vada-pav to be launched at 100 outlets in January, said Maharashtra Vada-Pav Vikreta Sena (MVVS) president Sanjay Gurav.

International burger giant McDonald’s and soft drinks major CocaCola sponsored the function while cookery experts tested the vada-pav using various parameters like hygiene, preparation methods, quality of oil and consistency in taste.

Thackeray also dismissed contentions that Shiv vada-pav was named after Maharashtra warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

“In fact, the word Shiv symbolises, hygiene, beauty and purity - like ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram’. When launched for the public, Shiv vada-pav will symbolise these traits,” he said.

He also recalled some fond memories of vada-pav from his childhood.

“During my childhood days at Bal Mohan Vidya Mandir, Shivaji Park, we used to run during recess to the corner stall owned by Ravi Vasaikar and buy a delicious vada-pav for just 25 paise. Similarly, we used to spend days on vada-pav during hectic election campaigning around the state. I feel proud that after decades, we are launching the global Shiv Vada-Pav at Shivaji Park,” Thackeray said amid thunderous applause.

Thackeray, along with several celebrities, city mayor Shubha Raul, former parliament speaker Manohar Joshi, luxury hotel chain owner Vithal Kamat, party legislators, filmstars and commoners, tasted the vada-pavs prepared on the occasion.

Other well-known personalities present at the event were Raza Murad, Nitin Desai, Vinod Rathod, Sunil Pal, Raju Shrivastava, Dhanraj Pillay and Manoj Tiwari.

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