China Watch Blog has learnt a great deal about Palm wine also called Palm Toddy also called “Kallu” in Malayalam (കള്ള്) and Tamil or simply Toddy an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the Palmyra, and coconut palms during a recent visit to Banting, a principal town in the district of Kuala Langat, Selangor in West Malaysia.
Armed with pots and various knives, a toddy tapper was ready to begin work. At lightning speed, he climbed up the coconut tree, collected the sap from the flower bud of the coconut palm, poured it into his tumbler, sliced another inch off the bud and replaced the earthen jar before swiftly descending.
The tapper climbs 40 to 60 trees a day, and when yours truly went to the coconut plantation on June 11, the tapper was just getting ready to do his work at mid-day, the second round of tapping.
The tapper told us that the volume from each tree differed from 1 litre to 5 litres. Toddy is the partly fermented sap of the coconut palm.
Every morning, he starts tapping at around 7am and he finishes at around 9am to 9.30am. Then he does it again in the afternoon at 2.30pm. However on the day yours truly went there, he informed us that he was tapping earlier that day as he had to go out after the work.
The palm wine contractor is called Sebastian. He inherited the toddy business while he was still at school when his father died in 1956. We caught Sebastian cooking goat’s intestine curry – a delicacy toddy drinkers like to eat with the drink.
He told us that his plantation’s harvest of toddy, a popular drink among many people in Banting, was supplied to the toddy shops in Banting.
The contractor has built some sitting areas near his house so that the toddy drinkers can sit down and enjoy the alcoholic drink under the shade of the trees in his house compound.
Don’t forget that Banting is famous for its toddy, but one fears the toddy tapper is a dying breed, and soon in the future, there will not be people around to do this specialised job that makes many people happy and high.If you think China Watch Blog's information is useful, click on cup of coffee on left hand side and make a small contribution via PayPal