Cashew nut and coconut, which can be credited with shaping Goa's culinary as well as social identity, are finally getting their due. In its bid to promote the two food items, the State Tourism Department will host one of India's biggest coconut and cashew festival, as an "ode" to these two Goan essentials. The festival is to start on 21st May and go on till 25th May."Coconut and cashew nut are an integral part of life in Goa. Right from their use in food and drinks to their contribution to the local economy, these two products have created a lasting impression on Goan culture and lifestyle. This festival, which is being organized for the first time, will focus on the role that coconut and cashewnut play in Goa," according to a statement from the Tourism Department.The event will feature a wide range of activities like cookery shows, cocktail demonstrations using feni, music concerts and stalls featuring handicraft and artifacts made with coconut shells and other by-products.Apart from their more rudimentary uses, Goans have traditionally tapped the coconut and cashew crop for manufacturing feni, a potent alcoholic brew unique to the state. Feni is made from either cashew juice or from coconut sap and is also expected to take the spotlight during the festival.There will be a demonstration of the feni distillation process, which will give visitors a peek into the making of the beverage. Guests will also be able to enjoy some feni cocktails during the event.Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said that the event could be an annual feature on the tourism itinerary. "Coconut and cashew nut are very important for every Goan. We want to showcase its multiple uses to the world. This is the first time we are organising this event and are expecting tourists in large numbers. We are optimistic that it will be a huge success and will turn into an annual event," he said.
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