I’m settling in with a cup of coffee made from beans grown in Karnataka. Karnataka is a coffee growing state. The most common form of bean coffee that I’ve found here is called “Mysore Nuggets”, which is an appropriate name derived from a time when Karnataka was called Mysore State. They mix a bit of chicory in to give it a unique flavor. It is good coffee and it is kind of cool to be drinking locally grown coffee, just as in Germany it is cool to drink wine made from grapes grown in the vineyards around our house.
But the best part is the name!
There is a city about 100 miles southwest of here called Mysore. It is known for sandalwood, weaving, tourism and being on the way to the hill stations where they grow tea and coffee. It is an anglicized name that probably gave amusement to generations of Brits before and during the Raj; especially in the late 18th century when it was the capital of Tipu Sultan, who was the biggest obstacle to British domination of south India. Mysore is the Anglicization of “home of demon guy with an unpronounceable name” in Kannada. The city is to be renamed Mysuru, which is a Kannadaization of an Anglicization of a Kannada name. This would be like the German city of Koln (Cologne) renaming itself Kolon; but I’m not sure if I want to ask about the thought process that brought us to Mysuru.
For generations, the administrative district – state – was named after this city. Mysore State was renamed Karnataka in the 1970’s
Now say Mysore slowly. What does it sound like?
Now say Mysore Nuggets slowly!
my …sore …nuggets
Mmmmm… tasty coffee!