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Updated: April 15, 2014 13:37 IST

Time to savour ‘thati munjalu’

G. V. R. Subba Rao
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A vendor taking out fruit chopping the palmyra fruit in Vijayawada. Photo: Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar
The Hindu A vendor taking out fruit chopping the palmyra fruit in Vijayawada. Photo: Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar

Vendors of this delicious fruit dot places like Siddhartha College, Eluru Road, Alluri Sitarama Raju Vantena and Museum Road

People’s summer delight toddy palm fruits, known as ‘thati munjalu’ and called ice apple in English, began making their cool presence in the market. Vendors of this delicious fruit dot places like Siddhartha College, Eluru Road, Alluri Sitarama Raju Vantena and Museum Road. A dozen of these fruits are sold at Rs. 25 to Rs.30.

With rising mercury levels, people are eagerly looking for the palm fruits. They feel that the fruit provides the right blend of nutrition comprising glucose, minerals and other necessary nutrients. Old-timers like Padmanabhan say that the fruit keeps up glucose levels besides helping withstand the heat. It is always better to give a fruit or two children every day to beat the heat.

The juice of palm fruits also helps in treating prickly heat rashes that trouble children during summer, he feels.

Passers-by pausing to gorge on the soft jelly like pulp extracted from their shells, is a common sight at junctions like Museum Road. Pedestrians as well as motorists stop to purchase ice apples and the rush is generally during lunch time. About half-a-dozen persons are selling already cut ice apples at these busy roads in the city.

Using sickles, Raghuramaiah and his wife chop the palmyra fruits, which have three seeds each, and sell them to customers. They sell a dozen ice apples at Rs. 25 and complete the sales by 2 p.m. Sometimes, sales continue till evening. There is a change in attitudes.

Though a few people feel it below their dignity to stop and buy a pack of these fruits, they began realising the nutritional values of it. The demand is catching up, he says.

The vendors lament that there is a decline in number of palm trees. The palm fruit has to be fetched from far off places. Some times, the vendors come from far-off places like Tiruvur .

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