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Cashew Fenny

Fenny spirit distilled from either the sap of coconut or the cashew apple that grows just below the cashew nut. Cashew Fenny is also called Kaaju Feni. Fenny originated in Goa and the Goan fenny,as its come to be known as, has become famous throughout the world. Though other countries also produce wines from the cashew apple, Cashew Fenny is a unique speciality of Goa, an erstwhile Portuguese colony.

The cashew apples are carefully picked, foot-trodden to extract the juice and then fermented. In the traditional method, the cashew apples are manually crushed in a coimbi, a rock carved like a basin having an outlet to collect the juice. Nowadays, it is done using modern crushers. The juice is then collected in huge earthen pots called Kodem. These are then buried in the ground and allowed to ferment. After the fermemtation is completed, the are sent for distillation. Traditionally, the cashew juice is allowed to ferment by itself without using any fermentation agent.

The fermemted juice is distilled in earthen or copper pots. In the traditional method of distilling, cashew juice is poured in a big pot called Bhann which serves as a closed boiler. The Bhann is connected to a smaller pot called Launni. serving as the collector.

The juice in the big pot is boiled. As the liquid in the pot vaporises, the pressure in the receiver starts increasing. It is kept in check by regularly pouring cold water over it. In the first stage of distillation, the fire is big but in later stages the fire is simmered down so that the pressure and heat remain under control. The ditillation process takes around 8 hours to complete. The first distillation process produces urrack and the second distillation produces fenny. Urrak has alcoholic strength ranging between 14 and 16 grao. The final product, feni's strength ranges around 20 and 24 grao. For premium fenny, triple distillation is done. In Feni, alcohol content ranges from 40-45%.

Cashew Fenny has a unique taste. Although many goans drink it neat, it may be strong for many and can be taken with ice, soda and lime cordial or tonic water. It make a good combination with fruit juices too.

Some of the best brands of feni are Big Boss, Cashyo and Reals. Big Boss is the best known brand and is marketed internationally too.

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