The fiery flavour of can Patak survive in the enormous corporate cooking pot of ABF

Published: 08th May 2020
Views: N/A

I've for ages been a devotee of Patak's, the Lancashire-based Indian sauce-andpickle empire that was acquired last week by Associated British Foods for an undisclosed price thought to be somewhere north of [pounds sterling] 100 million. The company that supplies three quarters of the Indian restaurants of Britain and sells 30 million jars of curry sauce hasn't only supported British eaters to explore the broader chances of subcontinental cuisine, but has set a shining 50-year example of family entrepreneurship. Kirit's dad Laxmishankar Pathak, who arrived from Kenya with [pounds sterling] 5 and began making sweets and samosas in a cellar in Kentish Town in 1957, was a difficult taskmaster having a custom of getting into trouble. He almost went bankrupt after burning his fingers on a dodgy distribution contract in the late 1960s, along with the firm really prospered only after he handed over day-to-day running to Kirit and Meena (who was a food technology graduate) in 1976.Pathak senior went on to entangle himself in fraud allegations against the prior Indian prime minister N.V. Narasimha Rao, to whose private guru Pathak promised to have paid $100,000 to secure a newsprint supply contract which never materialized. Meanwhile.Meanwhile Kirit fought -- and is thought to get settled for [pounds sterling]9 million -- a five-year legal battle along with his two sisters above their claim to shares in the curry business. Despite these ructions, the brand became a favourite with British supermarket shoppers. Stacked alongside more polished concoctions from the likes of Uncle Ben and Loyd Grossman, Patak's sauces speak of authenticity even though they are occasionally distantly related to even in the event the temptation to blend in extra ingredients can sometimes result in catastrophe -- and what's truly eaten in India. I once attempted to entertain Watcher readers by road-testing a weird choice of 'cook-in sauces', among them Patak's Goan Pineapple, which I turned to mud that was tasteless by the addition of uncalled-for fried onions. 'This one was a lovely shade of yellow in the jar, ' I wrote. 'I was tempted to paint it on the kitchen, and I might as well have done.' Patak's will become part of the ABF brand portfolio that was vast, from Kingsmill to Twinings, and will form a part of a division, chaired by Kirit, which includes 'asian' Blue Dragon products and other 'world food' lines. It'll be a shame if this mix of big-corporate fixings creates the sort of mess that is bland which I found in my own cooking pot; despite the change of ownership, the Pathak family enterprise should fight to keep its distinguishing, fervent flavour.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore