Goa Cashew Feni

Fenny or Feni is a Goan liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. The popular brands of fenny are 'Cashyo' , 'Reals' (pronounced as Reaals), and 'Big Boss'. Goa has registered for a geographical indicator that would allow it to claim the sole right to term drink created in the region as fenny or 'Goan Cashew Feni'. Fenny is classified as a 'country liquor', and therefore not sold outside the State of Goa in India. The bulk of the fenny produced is sold unlabeled to retailers and home consumers. Some of it is also purchased by bottlers, who have developed their own brands.In Goa, the sub-district of Sattari is the 'Fenny capital' of the region. It tops in the number of cashew stills and also the area under cashew, according to the Baseline Survey of the Feni Industry.

TYPES OF FENI

Coconut fenny - This type of fenny is made from the sap of the coconut palm. Cashew fenny - This fenny is made from the fermented juice of cashew fruit, is also called caju fenny. Recently Cashew Fenny got its GI registration as a specialty alcoholic beverage from Goa. The Goa Cashew Feni Distillers & Bottlers Association and Dept. of Science, Technology & Environment, Govt. of Goa has taken efforts for registering this famous product of Goa as a GEOGRAPHYICAL INDICATION. The product is registered under the GI name "FENI" and is described as a colourless clear liquid when matured in wooden barrels getting golden brown tint. The word "FENI" is derived as such because when the liquor is shaken in a bottle or poured in a glass some froth is formed which in the local Konkani Language is known as "FEN". The GI registration will protect the rights of farmers and local producers over this unique product . It is also expected that GI registration will enhance its market potential even though there are limitations to market this product outside Goa.

PREPARATION

In the traditional method of making cashew fenny, the cashew apples are crushed and formed into a cake that is tied with string. This is placed in a stone basin with an outlet for the juice, called acoimbi, and a heavy boulder is placed on top. The juice expressed is known as Neero, which is sometimes used medicinally as a laxative. The Neero is collected in a large earthen pot called a Kodem, which is buried in the ground and left while the juice ferments for several days. Traditional distilling methods for fenny, known as Bhatti, use an earthenware still consisting of a boiler (known as a Bhann) and a collecting pot (Launni). Cold water is continuously poured on the Launni to aid in condensing the distallate. The initial distillation, known as Urrac (Arrack) is about 15% alcohol. Urrac may be consumed neat or mixed with soda or other soft drinks. The Urrac is distilled again to increase the alcohol content. Fenny is the second or third distillation of the Urrac, which can be up to 45% alcohol. High-grade fenny is 42% alcohol by volume. There are known to exist around 4,000 such traditional mini-distilleries or stills in Goa that manufacture cashew fenny and about 2,200 manufacturing coconut fenny. About 75% of stills making cashew fenny are in north Goa while the rest are in south Goa. Of the stills making coconut fenny, south Goa has about 65% of them while the rest are in north Goa. This is an indication that north Goa abounds in cashew trees while south Goa has more coconut trees. Fenny is often used in cocktails. Three common mixers are Coca-Cola, tonic water and lemonade, but it can also be enjoyed on its own on the rocks, or with a slice of lime.