Toddy is the sap taken from the inflorescence of the cocunut tree. The technique of extracting the toddy is an indegenous technique known to the specialised people who does it and is transfered to generations.
The Technique of Toddy extraction.
Tapping is generally done on the male inflorescence spadix . In fact, the sap from female inflorescence is of inferior quality and the spadix requires more effort during preparation. A wooden mallet is used for slowly hitting several minutes a day the trunk beneath and above the stem of the inflorescence while swinging it before incision. The tapper cleans the male inflorescence stalk from its bracts as soon as the flowers are nearly open. The clean stalk is then slowly beaten for several minutes each day for about 2 or 3 weeks at a distance of about 45-60cm from the stalk base, until the stalk becomes swollen; later the stalk is cut at the swollen section. The sap is collected in a pot made of clay. In every tapping, the apex of the stalk is sliced 1 to 5mm depending on the pre-treatment. Another method consists of splitting the stem of the inflorescence into 2 parts and in removing secondary stems except the last four that are grouped into a bamboo recipient where the juice will fall; the four secondary stems extremities are cut and then bruised with wood pliers twice a day during 5 days; the two following days, they are put in a bamboo recipient containing one litre of water, the next two days, they are bruised again and then the production starts .
Where it goes?
This is taken to the Toddy shop and allowed to ferment for a day and is ready to be served to the customers. The toddy shops in an area will be auctiones every year by the goverment and the auction itself is very competetive. The shops are charecteristically built with the cocunut leaves as the roof but now even concrete sructures are slowly replacing the traditional huts.
The curry section in any Toddy shops are a seperate entity from the main business. They are run by different people. The beauty about the curry section in a toddy shop is the exclusive taste they have and the food is liked by everyone! Some people go to these shops for simply enjoying the food. Different kinds of fish and other sea food and other kinds of Kerala food are available here!
It is always a pleasure to go to one of these toddy shops !