My search for the best toddy shop in Kerala began when I read this article on Syrian Christian cooking:
There is a reference in it to the best toddy shop in Kerala. So, I searched Google Books for the book, but no luck; a preview was not available. Coincidentally, an auto driver I know mentioned a famous toddy shop to me at about the same time that I read the article; he knew the location, but nothing else. He’d visited, pocketed the visiting card, but lost it.
A Net search turned up this page:
The location of the first shop, Mullapanthal, matched the location the auto driver had mentioned: Udayamperoor.
Now to chase down the Latikha George reference. It turned out to be a piece of cake. I walked into a prominent bookshop, asked for the book, turned to the table of contents, and there it was as large as life. I homed in on the page number by binary search, and read the entire account standing. An offering of the toddy shop that caught my eye was aama erachi, or tortoise meat.
Guess what? It was the same toddy shop: Mullapanthal. It’s right by the backwaters, and water birds can be viewed while sipping toddy. It’s not very far from Cochin. A visit there is in my to-do list — in boldface type.
Update (20 March, 2010):
I’ve now got the business card of the best toddy shop in Kerala. Here it is:
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