What is Toddy Drink?
Toddy drink is an alcoholic beverage collected from the sap of various species of palm trees like date palms, coconut palms, Palmyra. It is also known as palm wine, Kallu in South India, palm toddy or toddy/tadi or neera in North India. This drink is common in Asia, Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Mexico, Philippines and Indonesia. In India Toddy drink is common in South India regions such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The sap is extracted and collected by a palm tapper. Usually the sap is extracted from the cut flower of the palm tree. Container mostly clay pots are fastened to that flower stump to collect that sap. The whitish and cloudy liquid that initially gets collected tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic in taste before it is fermented. Another alternate method is the cutting down or felling the entire tree and a fire is sometimes lit at the cut end which helps in the collection of sap. In some regions of India, the unfermented sap is called neera, padaneer in Tamil Nadu and is refrigerated, for storing and distributing to hotels, restaurants or dealers. Little bit lime is also added to the sap to prevent it from getting fermented. Neera has got many nutrients including potash. Palm sap initiates its fermenting immediately after the collection, due to the natural yeasts present in the pores of pot and air. Within two hours only, fermentation cultivates an aromatic wine of up to 4% alcohol content in the sap, mildly intoxicating and sweet in taste. The wine sometimes are allowed to ferment longer, up to one day to yield a stronger and more sour and acidic taste, which some people prefer as it has some alcoholic effect. And prolonged fermentation produces vinegar instead of stronger wine from the sap.
There are two primary types of kallu in Andhra Pradesh, Thadi Kallu collected from Toddy Palmyra trees and Eetha Kallu extracted from silver date palms. Eetha Kallu is very sweet in taste and is less intoxicating, whereas Thati Kallu is stronger, sweet in the morning, and becomes sour to bitter-sour in the evening and is highly intoxicating. However, people enjoy kallu right after the sap is collected trees and is brought down.
Recently, a Kerala High Court observed that the government should consider for banning toddy had riffled opinions in a state where many consider it as a “health drink”. The Kerala High Court had last year requested the state government to consider banning toddy but finally the government assured that it would make sure of the supply of quality toddy. There’s no doubt that Toddy has some amazing health benefits, but there are some disadvantages which are the reasons of banning it from some parts of India.
Advantages of Toddy Drink
- Fresh toddy keeps us fresh and is healthy. Toddy which is the wine of the palm or coconut tree is very nutritious and healthy. Toddy has a crucial role in Ayurvedic medication.
- Fresh toddy is sweet in taste and should be consumed within maximum 12 hours after tapping, otherwise the taste will turn acidic or bitter sour.
- Fresh coconut toddy comprises physicochemical properties which enhances overall health. It is low in calories. If it’s fermented the alcohol, protein, ascorbic acid and titratable acidity properties escalated in it and the fresh toddy changes into more alcoholic toddy.
- The lauric acid in fresh toddy is much more better than baby processed milk.
- Toddy is all natural isotonic beverage which is suitable to human health in every way. It has vitamin B complex.
- Toddy can give you relief from cold and flu, preventing cough and sneezing.
Disadvantages of Toddy Drink
- The ethanol content in toddy can affect liver function and lipid metabolism in utero of a pregnant female.
- Toddy could give rise to neurological symptoms like affecting body rigidity and muscle contraction.
- It causes damage of liver accumulating fat in the liver.
- Toddy decreases blood clotting factor, leading to uncontrolled bleeding.
- It also can weaken heart muscle and ability to pump blood.
- Toddy drink adversely affect blood pressure and increases risk of heart attacks.