A trip down cashew lane

Novotel Goa Candolim and Novotel Goa Resort & Spa’s cashew trail offers guests a chance to learn about the journey of the cashew from farm to plate. It includes experiences such as harvesting cashew and tasting the different delicacies extracted from the fruit.

Goa’s connect with cashew runs deep. Brought in by Portuguese missionaries from Brazil nearly half a millennia ago, the cashew plant was initially meant to prevent soil erosion. Today, it is a thriving industry and one of the primary crops of the state. Nearly every visitor to Goa will almost always make it a point to pick up a bag or two of the nut or get bottles of the local favourites feni and urrack. Now, Novotel Goa Candolim and Novotel Goa Resort & Spa have launched a new cashew trail programme to educate people about the process of how cashew gets from farm onto plates and into bottles.

On for a month, the trail takes guests to NV Ecofarm, a farm spread across 60 acres in Kirlapal village, about an hour and a half’s drive from Candolim. While the 75-year-old farm cultivates a number of crops, including cashew, mango, coconut, areca nut, pineapple, and pepper, among others, the focus for this trail is obviously on the official state fruit. Guests get an opportunity to see the entire process of growing, harvesting, and processing of the cashew fruit for various uses.

It is harvest season for cashew right now, and visitors will learn how to identify cashew fruit that is ripe for plucking, gather fruit, separate the kernel from the fruit and even try their hand at crushing the fruit to extract cashew juice, which is locally known as niro.

The farm also has a factory that processes cashew kernels, and guests can watch the process of sorting and packaging here, along with buying different varieties. The cashew juice yielded by the fruit is also used to make feni and urrack, which is distilled at the farm. Guests can also watch and learn about these processes and get a taste of these delicious local spirits.

The cashew trail is a great way to understand the significance of the fruit for locals and additionally, makes for a fun day out, involving interesting activities as well as a chance to get a taste of the many yields of the cashew. A great option for those looking to explore beyond the obvious and delve a little deeper into Goa.   

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