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TODDY - Toddy is the name of palm wine, but really the sap that is tapped from the freshly cut flowers of a palm tree - it’s the sweet juice nectar. From a coconut palm, it’s totally different from the coconut fruit, or coconut water. It’s the sap of the flowers. One of the reasons you won’t find it bottled up or sold far away from the palm trees, is that it spoils and ferments extremely fast.
#Kerala #India #toddy #toddyshop #IndianFood
In Kerala, especially in the backwaters area, coconut toddy is a very popular local beverage, and there’s an entire South Indian, Kerala, culture that revolves around it - including very spicy food. I was thrilled to have a chance to learn about the coconut palm toddy culture of Kerala, taste some toddy, and especially eat some food to pair with it.
First, we started off on a boat, and visiting a toddy tapper. The best coconut palm tody comes from coconut palms that lean over the water, and the best toddy is from brackish water palms. He showed us the process of slicing the flowers, and draining the sap into a ceramic vase to collect the juice. The sap ferments so fast, in just a few hours, it already turns alcoholic. We had the chance to sample fresh toddy, the juice right out of the flowers. It was sensational, much different from coconut water (from the fruit), and sweeter. Then we continued to a Toddy Shop.
Toddy Shop - Rajapuram Kayal Shop (https://goo.gl/maps/qczhVhpEFr8jnCLN7) - About a 2 hour boat ride, we arrived at Rajapuram Kayal Shop, an amazing location, on its own island in the middle of lakes and lagoons. They were already starting to cook the amazing spicy food, including fish head curry, beef and pork chili fry. Toddy shops are known for cooking very spicy Indian food, with lots of spice and strong flavors, that pair well with coconut toddy. The food was unbelievably spectacular, and one of my favorite dishes of the day was the duck mappas.
For the toddy, we had a fresh toddy, a slightly fermented toddy, a grape infused toddy, and most importantly, and best of all, a chili and ginger toddy.
It was an extremely fun day to learn about Kerala food and culture and meet some amazing people!
Watch the entire Kerala, Indian food video series here: https://youtu.be/WYk5yyHvpvE
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