Degree coffee is certainly not the only thing that Kumbakonam is famous for, we realised while researching for our recent trip to this temple town.
Apparently, the town also happens to be one of the leading producers of betel leaves and areca nuts. In fact, the betel leaves produced in Kumbakonam are believed to be among the best in the world, as far as quality is concerned.
Armed with this knowledge, we were well prepared to keep an eye out for local paanwallahs in Kumbakonam, so we could taste a couple of these famed betel leaves.
We had, sort of, expected these betel leaves to be all over Kumbakonam, but they were so not! We came across just a few shops selling them, that too only in the local flower-fruit-vegetable market.
When we finally got our hands on a couple of these betel leaves, we were surprised at just how fresh and strong in taste they were. They filled our mouths with a spicy juice that just isn’t present in the betel leaves we get in big cities like, say, Madras or Bangalore. The Kumbakonam vettalai is, definitely, different. Neither the husband nor I are betel leaf connoisseurs, and hence, unable to elaborate more on this.
Do try out some of the famed vettalai whenever you are in Kumbakonam!
I hope you have been reading and enjoying my other posts about Kumbakonam! If you haven’t, here are the links for you.