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Deeply entwined with the bliss of eating avarekai, the star of Bengaluru’s festival dedicated to the hyacinth bean, is sogadu – the signature aroma of the bean. Ask any avarekai lover and they will invariably mention that deep, rich scent. A few years ago, when a perennial strain of hyacinth beans (or field beans) was introduced in Bengaluru, the bean-crazy town was less than enthused because the new beans were flat on the nose. Given that almost 80% of what we know as taste is actually aroma, perhaps they were not entirely wrong to boycott this half-bean.

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