Goan Feni - The Global Indian drink
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
I am sure you drink! If you do, you may have tried the popular Goan Feni. If you don't drink, you should definitely know about Goan Feni. Though is it popularly known all over India and world, it is to be noted that Feni is the GI product of Goa.
More simply put, if you buy a Feni with a govt. approved GI tag, you are tasting one of the finest and authentic because a native has brewed it in the state.
It comes in 2 varieties - Cashew and Coconut. However, Cashew Feni is more popular and over the shelves.
How is it made?
Cashew Feni - Tree ripened Cashew apples that fall on the ground are picked up and crushed in a stomping area. Interestingly in earlier times it was done by stamping by foot, however, now it is done by the use of a press. This first extract is transferred to a earthen pot and buried in the ground for several days. No yeast or bacteria is used. The pulp remaining after the stomping is again crushed and the extract is distilled with around 15% alcohol. It is then mixed with the extract lying underground. The whole mixture when re-distilled with the first extract gives Feni (around 45% and above alcohol content).
Coconut Feni - Mostly consumed and made in South Goa, it is distilled from fermented toddy from the coconut palm. Distilled in traditional earthen or copper pots, the pot is sealed and vapours are passed using a tube made from 'bonnki' stem and then collected in clay distillation pot.
However, only Cashew Feni has been given the GI tag. Cashew Feni became popular when Portuguese arrived in Goa and brought the exotic Cashew trees.
Where can you tour the World's only and first Feni Cellar?
The world's first and only cellar for Feni was open in South Goa. You can find it in the midst of a cashew orchard in the kunbi tribal village in Cansaulim Goa. For those who do not know what Cellar is - It is an underground storage house for liquor! Doesn't that excite you?!
Yes, there are around 1200 large vessels to keep the Feni in this underground chamber. You can walk through the farms, collect the cashews and stomp it. This cellar is not just for Feni but to give you a feel of the Goan Heritage. The cellar has lime washed walls and double layered tiles on the roof which is sources from Goan homes.
Doesn't it excite you to visit Goa not just for its beaches but this amazing Cellar?
Planning a trip to Goa? Check out a suggested itinerary