Cochin is a popular destination for those looking for handicrafts, spices, coffee, metal utensils and antique items. But some of these can be overpriced, especially if you are new to the place. Here’s a list of the things to buy to help first time visitors to Cochin:
Lace, crocheted and embroidery work:
Lace and needlework are some of the fine skills passed on to native Cochinites by the European missionaries. Although, this art is dying a slow death, there are a few places where you can buy fine embroidered clothes for babies, saris, tablecloth, glass covers, placemats and handkerchief. The Vimala Welfare Centre at Kacheripady, Our Lady’s Convent at Palluruthy, and some tourist shops at Jew Street are some of the popular places selling them.
Small and neatly packaged spices like black, white, green and pink peppers, green cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cloves can be bought as gifts to be presented to friends and family. The smell of the Tellicherry and the Malabar varieties of black pepper are definitely fresher and more vibrant than any of the pepper that you’ve tasted anywhere.
This is a surprise for many visitors. Did you know that the Malabar Coast is famous for its fresh coffee? But since tea is the local favorite here, most of the produce is exported to the West to be sold at exorbitant prices. The Leela Coffee centre near Chitoor Road at Valanjambalam in Ernakulam is a great place to buy coffee.
MG Road is a great place to buy silk saris and other cotton fabrics. Every known retailer worth his salt including Seemati, Chennai Silks, Jayalakshmi Silks and Kalyan Silks has an outlet here.