Goan Food And Drink
Goa has few of the dietary restrictions or taboos that apply in their regions of India, both Hindu and Muslim. Here the idea of vegetarianism is probably more equated with poverty than purity, and drinking alcohol is not the shameful activity as it is elsewhere. The Goan Palate relishes meat, especially pork, and all kinds of fresh seafood.
Food is usually served in bowls and placed on long tables surrounded by several chairs, where the whole family can sit together for a meal. A meat or fish dish is a must in every meal, but vegetables are also essential. The vegetables are usually cooked without any spices or masalas unlike the northern cuisine. There is no special style as such in eating food in Goa. All the dishes are eaten together as usual in plate.
The Portuguese Delicacies
Not unnaturally, after 450 years of colonization, Goan cooking has absorbed a strong Portuguese influence. Palm vinegar, copious amounts of Coconut, Garlic, Tangy Tamarind and fierce local chillies all play their part.
Goa is the home of the famous Vindaloo, originally an extra-hot and sour pork curry, but now made with a variety of meat and fish. Other Pork specialties include Chourico red Sausages, Sarpotel, a hot curry made from pickled pig's liver and heart; Leitao, suckling pig; and Balchao, pork in a rich brown sauce. Delicious alternatives include vinegar chicken, spicy chicken or Mutton Xacutti, made with a sauce of lemon juice, Peanuts, Coconut, chillies and spices. Sea Food
The choice of seafood, often cooked in fragrant masalas, is excellent - Clams, Mussels, Crab, Lobster, Giant Prawns - while Fish, depending on the type, is either cooked in wet curries, grilled or baked in Tandoor clay ovens. Try Ape de Camarao, a spicy prawn pie with a rice and Semolina crust. Sannam, like the south Indian iddli, is a steamed cake of fermented rice flour, but here fermented with palm Toddy (also spelt as Todi). Sweet tooths will adore Bebinca, a rich, delicious solid Egg Custard with coconut.
When it comes to fruits Goa have the Pineapple, the Melon, the Banana, the Pawpaw, the Custard Apple etc., but surpassing them all is the MANGO. One can find a huge variety of them but the sweetest, the most luscious and the most ravishing in taste, are the "Alphonso", the "Fernandina" and the "Malcorada", and without exaggeration, the best in the world.
Pastries are almost a part of every common meals as well as occasion and feast in Goa. Christmas and the Ganesh Festival are occasions when they are prepared in all their varieties. Being the land where coconut is abundant it is not surprising that in quite a good number of these sweets coconut milk is used. However, the queen of the delicacies is the "Bebinca". It is made of eggs, pure ghee, flour, coconut milk and sugar. Other Goan pastries would include "Doce", "Cokad", "Dodol", "Bolinhas" and "Jia de Aronhas".
Rice is an important item of Goan diet. One will find it at every table and almost at every meal. Rice is eaten with delicious fish or meat curry, or in the form of "Pulao", and many other ways. A leavened and steamed bread called "Sana", another a round pastry called "Oddo", the steamed South Indian "Dossa" and "Iddli", a great number of sweet dishes made with rice and jaggery etc. are some of the regional preparations of Goa.
As for drinks, locally produced Wine, Spirits and Beer are cheaper than anywhere in the country, thanks to lower rates of tax. The most famous and widespread Beer is of course Kingfisher, which tastes less of Glycerine preservative than it does elsewhere in India.
Goan Port, a sweeter, interior version of its Portuguese namesake, is ubiquitous, served chilled in large wine glasses with a slice of lemon. Local whiskies, brandies, rums, gins and vodkas come in a variety of brand names come at affordable prices a shot, but at half the price, local specialty Feni, made from distilled cashew or from the juice of coconut palms, offers strong competition.
Feni - The Most Popular Drink of Goa
Besides its other delicacies, Goa is famous for its exotic drink - Feni. On your travel trip to Goa don't forget to buy Feni, an idle gift back home. It is a strong drink usually made through Cashew apple.