Toddy palm trees can be seen throughout Myanmar and these are a symbol of rural life, especially in central Myanmar. The palm tree is one with fan-shaped leaves and its height averages 60 – 80 feet (18-24 metric) and life term of about 200 years. They are cultivated widely in central Myanmar and is the main rural economy of local people because of their usage from top to bottom (fruits, fronds, branches, stems, roots etc.)
For a long time, palm fronds are used as the roofing before galvanized ion sheets in rural regions. These fronds can actually protect from heat of the sun’s rays thus nowadays palm fronds roof are also found all over Myanmar mainly in the hot season. Also palm fronds are modified into different types of handicrafts such as small containers for small things, four-corner buckets, palm leaves bags, hats, toys, chairs and other accessories and palm fronds are also used for decoration in restaurants.
Palm fruits are converted into various food-stuffs such as palm juice (toddy juice), Myanmar traditional sweet (jaggery) and also softer portions of palm (just like jelly). Sweet toddy juice is obtained only by climbing the toddy palm before high noon and it is really good for digestion. So a lot of elder persons drink it after meal. Alcoholic toddy juice (palm wine) can be drunk after fermentation process and it’s good for kidney because of discharging urine freely. Both of these are very useful for health.
Palm Sugar / Jaggery
Palm sugar is made by heating toddy sap and stired until it solidifies and then cooling it in a large pan and then rolled by hand into different sizes before totally cold situation. Jaggery is not the main snack but served to guests after meal in Myanmar society. Myanmar people love to enjoy jaggery as a dessert and it’s really good for digestion system. There are various types of jaggery: peanut jaggery, coconut jaggery, sesame jaggery, plum jaggery depending on the mixing of different ingredients in jaggery production. Jaggery is also the main ingredient of myanmar traditional sweet snacks. In these days, jaggery is widely produced as an export product of Myanmar.
Stem and root of Palm Tree
Stem of palm tree is used in house building as the main pole and also for roofing. Moreover, mostly in villages, middle of the stem is divided into two parts in order to use as the manger and also used as various shapes of vases. Shoots sprouting from toddy palm nut can be consumed by steeping in oil and suitable amount of salt as the snack after boiling or roasting. This is also one of the traditional food of Myanmar people. If you visit in Myanmar, products of palm tree are the things don’t miss to buy from Myanmar as a gift for your special ones.