The Toddy Palm

Friday, October 28, 2011

Borassus flabellifer is called the toddy palm. Toddy, or a potent wine, is made from the inflorescences of the palm. Climbers ascend bamboo ladders that are attached to the tall trunks, cut a section of inflorescence, and attach bowls to catch the draining juice. The palms are harvested of toddy from the age of 25 to 45, after which they can "retire."

 The toddy is OK for women and children in the morning, but by afternoon if has become a potent drink of 5 to 7 percent alcohol. 

A sugary candy called jaggery is made from the maple-syrup like palm juice, and when combined with tapioca, it makes a lovely dessert.