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Palm wine is produced from the fermented sap of the Arenga palm (bot.: Arenga pinnata) and the mangrove palm (bot.: Nypa fruticans). It is common in many parts of Africa and South East Asia and has different names in each country. One of the most common names is Toddy or Palm Toddy, as for example in large parts of India and in Malaysia. In South India it is also known as Kallu, in Myanmar and the Philippines as Tuba.

The sap of the palms is collected twice a day (see also palm sugar) and starts to ferment immediately after its collection. After only two hours the wine has up to 4 percent alcohol and tastes sweet and aromatic. It may be fermented for up to one day, which makes it stronger and sour tasting. After that, fermentation has to be stopped, or else the wine turns to vinegar. Since palm wine is a perishable good, it is generally drunk soon after its production.

Palm wine is also distilled to brandy, which has many names depending on the region where it is produced. It is for example called Arrak in Indonesia and Tuak in Sri Lanka.


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