Come April and you see Cashew everywhere in Goa. Not that you don’t see it rest of the year, but at this time you get the raw cashew that can be used to make pastes and curries or even enjoyed as such. There are cashew festivals everywhere – be it by Goa Tourism or by museums or by the leading hospitality brands. Last week Park Hyatt Goa invited me to their Cashew Trail lunch, which was a culmination of their week long celebrations all, built around the proud local fruit – Cashew. I am told they organized hiking trips to cashew farms, had a master class on Feni making among and even arranged cashew ritual spas.
On a lazy sunny Sunday by the beach in their sprawling lawns shaded by the tall trees the sea breeze kept the temperatures under control. White canopies fluttered against the rich green. Incidentally a whole lot of guests were wearing white to create a white and green theme for the day. The food counters churned the out the flavors of cashew in every dish and as the hero of the day Cashew was liberally used in the décor all around the venue. Being the vegetarian my options were bound to be limited but I missed the traditional goan curry in the meal. However the desserts that were simply yummy more than made this up. I even tried an Ice-gola or chuski with a bit of Feni in it.
Guests at Park Hyatt Goa moved around at leisurely, in a typical Sunday mood as they got their feet massaged wish cashew oil.
In one corner kids were stomping the cashew as used to be traditionally done to make Feni. At a live cooking counter couples were cooking to win a cooking competition that was judged by India’s leading food writers and bloggers. Live music was being played – I particularly enjoyed the saxophone. Music added another dimension of Goa to the ambience. Anchors of the events kept the audience engaged by luring them for small sponsored prizes.
At the end there was an auction of a lovely jar of Feni that sat elegantly on the traditional Goan Machila. I was told that this auction is done every year to support a charity or a cause.
Thank you Park Hyatt Goa for the lovely hamper. Enjoyed the chikki and hope to enjoy the Feni and the Chutney too soon enough.