Panaji: Goa legislators, irrespective of party affiliation, have backed Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar's proposal to make feni, a popular local alcoholic drink distilled from cashew juice, the state heritage drink.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, a day after Parsekar outlined his plan, PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said feni was good for health and its status as a state heritage drink was an "excellent idea".
"Liquor is separate, feni is separate. Feni is available only in Goa, the way cashew nuts were available in Goa, but are now a fad all over India. People take feni for good health also. Usually this drink is available in this monsoon, but it is very popular all over the world," Dhavalikar said.
Cashew feni is distilled from fermented juice extracted from the cashew apple and is a popular alcoholic beverage in Goa. A similar process is also used to distill coconut feni from palm toddy.
The opposition Congress, too, congratulated Parsekar for bestowing the state heritage drink status upon feni.
"It is a good decision. Goa is known for its feni and it is unique to the state," said Congress MLA from Cumbharjua Pandurang Madkaikar.
Parsekar also said that feni was not just an alcoholic drink but also has medicinal value.
"Feni is not just a liquor, not just a spirit, not just an alcohol... it has medicinal value also. It needs to have special status and our government, after thinking about it, has declared it as a state heritage drink," he said.