Indian food is synonymous with spices. The rich and pleasant aromas of the different spices blended together makes our food very desirable. This is the reason why it is loved by all. Goa is a tropical hotspot and hence, this makes it home to various species of plants and spices. Most Goans have a pepper vine plant growing around their trees at home or perhaps a chilli plant or two. So, it’s no surprise that this green gem has various spice plantations from south to north.
A visit to one of Goa’s various spice plantations is definitely a must on your checklist when you’re in town. You’re bound to fall in love with nature during a trip to one of these plantations. They offer a picturesque view and the clean fresh air. With chirping birds high up in the trees, a spice plantation is a peek into what Goa once was.
Here are 5 reasons why you should visit a Spice Plantation when in Goa
Visit the unseen version of Goa
Goa is known to most people as the party destination of India or the state with amazing beaches. While it is both of those things, the tiny state of Goa is also a green haven with numerous plants and animals. The spice plantations in Goa have been run by the locals for years. They still grow and harvest produce in a traditional way here. While it is called a spice plantation, they also grow various fruits and vegetables. These include cashew, coconut, tomatoes, bananas and pineapples to name a few. The locals tend to the crops and harvest the spices and other fruits when ready so that they can be sold. Walking through these spice plantations is truly a serene experience as you are completely surrounded by the authentic and natural version of Goa.
Learn about different spices
One of the great things about a visit to the spice plantations is the informative tour that they provide. The visitors are usually divided into groups of around 15-20 people. These groups are then taken for a tour through the spice plantation. While on this tour, the guide shows you various different herbs and spices. One is even allowed to touch and smell them while the guides explain the different qualities and uses of it.
The tour guide might even give you a few fresh spices to taste and ask you to identify them. This usually leaves a lot of people confused as fresh spices taste different from the spices we use in our kitchen. Through the tour, you will learn about the history and how some of these spices found their way to Goa. You will also learn where they originated from and when what medicinal properties they have. If you’re lucky you may even see one of the beetle nut harvesters climb up the tree with ease using only their bare hands and feet.
Taste Authentic Goan Food
The mouthwatering and flavourful lunch will be the highlight of your trip to the spice plantation. The people who work at the spice plantation will cook you an authentic vegetarian Goan meal. They use fresh produce straight from the plantation for the cooking. Some of the plantations in Goa might even serve you chicken or fresh seafood. So if you’re a diehard non-veg lover, call and check before you visit. To top off the meal and cleanse your palate, enjoy a banana straight from one of the many banana trees that grow there.
Sip on authentic Goan Feni
Feni is one of Goa’s most famous drinks that is made from cashew. Most of these spice plantations supply the feni distilleries in Goa. With these cashews the distilleries produce Feni and Uraak. Some of the spice plantations in Goa may even have an in-house Feni distillery. Here they will show you the process of how this famous Goan drink in made.
The cashew fruit is smashed, quite often in a similar manner that grapes are to make wine. Then the cashew fruit is kept in large earthenware pots underground where they can ferment. Once this is done, the cashew is then double distilled to create a clear firey drink called Feni. Uraak is the first flush of Feni and is much more suitable to people’s tastes than Feni. Uraak that looks like coconut water, is commonly had with limca and a chilli. Feni is definitely a more acquired taste as it is a very strong drink that the locals like to have neat. Taste both during your trip to the spice plantation and decide for yourself which one you like best!
Take back a few goodies
To end your visit at the spice plantation, pick up some of the various spices that they sell over there so that you can take home organic and authentic spices to cook with. From pepper to nutmeg, bay leaf, cardamon and various other, you’ll be spoilt for choice and left wanting to buy a packet of everything.
A trip to a Goan Spice Plantation is the perfect way to relax, connect with nature and witness the true beauty of Goa. Goa has many plantations such as Savoi Spice Plantation, Sahakari Spice Farms and Tropical Spice Plantation to name a few. Call ahead and book a tour for you and your family and friends to ensure that they aren’t full when you want to visit.
We here at Goa Casitas hope your vacation to Goa is filled with jam-packed adventures and that you get a chance to try out all the different thing that Goa has to offer. If you’re looking to rent out a luxury villa or private apartment during your vacation in Goa, click here to find the perfect home away from home in Goa’s prime locations like Vagator, Baga and Calangute.