Revealed: What You Should Know About Palmwine

Palmwine, often gotten from the sap of palm trees such as palmyra, date palm and coconut palms is a very sweet beverage usually enjoyed as a local drink.
palm wine

Palmwine is common among local people in Africa who use the wine for a great number of purposes including drinking, worshipping of their local gods, used at social gatherings and so much more.

How Is Palmwine Gotten?

A palm wine tapper, the primary producer of palmwine taps a palm tree by making a hole at the top of the tree. He fastens a gourd or container to the tree to collect a whitish liquid, the palmwine.

Alternatively, a whole tree can be felled and the palm wine could be easily tapped but this is not a recommended way of tapping palm wine because it wastes resources.

The palmwine occurs as a cloudy whitish liquid and it has a sweet alcoholic taste.

Palm wine has a number of advantages; it has disadvantages too though.

Palmwine is a well known drink in Africa, probably the most popular beverage at a given point in time. But due to some reasons, in recent years, it got a drop in it's popularity. People stopped drinking palmwine for a few reasons which include:

  • The introduction of other better beverages.
  • The alcoholic content of the beverage.

Generally, palmwine is well known for it's alcoholic content, but there is a fact you must know: PALMWINE INITIALLY CONTAINS NO ALCOHOL!
You may be surprised to hear this fact but it is the truth.
When palmwine is freshly tapped from the tree, it has a high sucrose (sugar) content of about 13.0 per cent of sugar and NO alcoholic content. Palmwine at this stage is very sweet with no alcohol. If you can get to taste a glass of this kind of wine, then you just tasted the real palm wine.

But, after about three hours, fermentation begins. The fermentation process is caused by the presence of yeast cells in the palmwine and when they reproduce, they emit ethanol which is alcohol, and that is the only source of alcohol in the beverage. The more fermentation takes place, the more alcoholic content in the beverage.

The fermentation converts about half of the sugar to alcohol which means about 6.0 per cent alcohol and 7.0 per cent sugar in less than 24 hours. Palmwine at this stage is still sweet but alcohol is now present, which means excessive drinking will lead to intoxication.

When the Palmwine is about 24 hours old, it starts losing most of it's sugar content and gets replaced by alcohol, thereby developing a sour taste. This is usually the wine that gets to us and the sour nature of the wine plus the alcoholic content accounts for the declining demand for palmwine.

In order to prevent the palmwine from getting to this unfavourable stage, palmwine tappers tried adding a substance to the wine to be able to preserve it for a very long rime without getting to this sour state but they realised that they were only redcing the features and benefits of the sweet beverage.

After we've known something about palmwine, it's time to know it's advantages and disadvantages.

What are the advantages of palmwine?

Palmwine has a number of advantages associated with it's use. They include.

  • It improves vision: Freshly tapped palmwine contains some nutrients such as vitamins C and B which helps in promoting good eyesight.

It is sometimes said that our grandparents have better eyesight than us. The reason might be because the palmwine is their beverage!

  • Builds the body structure: Protein is body building food; Protein becomes amino acid after digesting; Palmwine contains amino acid. It is no wonder that proteins greatly helps in building the body.

  • Promotes the health of the heart: Palmwine contains potassium which is a great fighter of cardiovascular diseases. However too much potassium in the body can lead to serious and deadly health problems.
  • It also helps to prevent cancer though this won't make a good beverage for cancer patients.

There are also more benefits of this drink we won't be mentioning now, but let's quickly move on to the disadvantages.

What are the disadvantages of palmwine?

Everything with advantages should have disadvantages (a marketing teacher said). In the case of palmwine, he's right. Let's quickly see the disadvantages of palm wine.

The side effects of palmwine are caused mainly by the high alcoholic content, some are;

  • Hypertension: Palmwine can cause hypertension because of the high potassium content in the beverage. However, only excessive taking will cause this though!

  • Neurological problems: Many people who take palmwine usually have some problems with their head, caused by excessive intake. This is usually because of the high concentration of alcohol when it is completely fermented. This is applicable to all alcoholic drinks. Please, be careful with alcoholic drinks!

  • Forgetfulness: If you take so much wine, you'ld easily forget things as a result of the high alcoholic concentration in the wine.

  • Wasteful spending: People could easily get addicted to palmwine and exhaust every given cash on the beverage, this wouldn't make sense!

FACT: A completely fermented palmwine is stronger than most local gins!

Thanks for reading

Please share and drop a comment

Post a Comment


I'll like to know what you think!