IndiaToday.in | Written by Somya Abrol
April 28, 2017 | UPDATED 16:37 IST
If you've ever had feni, you'd know why we're so taken aback by the idea of Goa dedicating an entire fest to it.
Feni comes from the Sanskrit word 'phena', which means froth, and how good can froth really taste? Okay, scratch that--when created by culinary geniuses froth too can taste beyond delicious.
But feni is not a drink that belongs in the 'beyond delicious' category. It belongs in its polar opposite. Feni is a local Goan liquor that's made either out of coconut sap or cashew apples, and stinks so bad, you'd question the edibility of it.
They say coconut feni was invented much before its cashew variant, because of the abundance in which coconut is found in Goa. Cashew version of Goan feni is an exotic type, since the cashew tree was introduced to India by Portuguese colonists. In fact, they say the most local way of having coconut feni is directly from the coconut shell.
The distillation process of feni takes three phases--juice is obtained in the first phase of the distillation; this is called Urrack; it is neither pungent nor aromatic. Urrack is further distilled into what is known as Cazulo, which has some intoxicating properties which grow manifold by the time the drink reaches its final stage, which we know as feni.
Though it's suggested that the Goan Feni be mixed with soda, Coke or lemon juice--because if consumed neat, feni can be a little too intoxicating for you to remain conscious--we're really not sure if mixing anything would made that strong aroma go away, or even bearable!
That's why it came as a surprise to us when Goa's tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said yesterday that feni will now have an entire festival dedicated to it.
In Goa's defence, however, they're doing it to promote the drink's medicinal values. "Feni is a heritage spirit, as far as Goa is concerned. We will soon host a feni festival and promote its medicinal values," said Ajgaonkar at an ongoing festival in Goa.
Day 8 Drove 180km (Panjim to Palolem) Driving through Goa we visited a spice and cashew nut farm. Fun to see cashews nestled in their little green jackets. The rest of the 'cashew apple' fruit is squashed and demented into a lethal (45% abv) Goan liquor called Feni #Cashewapple #feni