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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sweet Memories Of Sugarcane Juice

Technology has advanced so much that the sugarcane juice is ready in seconds. The person just inserts the sugarcane into the machine, adds ginger and lime, and waits not more than 20 seconds for the machine to do the magic.

But it was not always so. During my teens I remember the man moving the handle of the iron wheel in a circle motions, using his strength to crush the cane between the wheels. He used lot of effort as he folded the cane several times to squeeze out the juice to the last drop.

Recently, in the rural areas, just on the outskirts of Mumbai, I came across this blue and red color cart. Approaching closer, I realized that it was cart carefully designed to squeeze out the sugarcane juice. Now I had never seen this kind of sugarcane juice extraction machine anytime before, so, naturally I was curious.

I requested a glass of cane sugar juice for me. She called her son to help her. While she inserted the cane between the two round wheels, her son came and held on to the long rod attached to the axle at the center of the cart. He walked around the cart, moving the long rod in the circular path around the cart. The sweet juice was extracted from the hard wood leaving behind the tasteless wad of pulp.

I was amazed to see the machine that used only the manual power. There was no electricity consumptions, no noise, it was easy to move and had high efficiency. Beside, it was a good exercise machine where a person moved for a cause. He walked in circles and the result was sweet!!!

For those of you wondering ... sugarcane juice is the national drink of India with a very long history. In those hot summer days, when soft drinks were unknown, and fruit juices were too expensive, available only to the elites, common man found respite from the scorching sun with a fresh glass of sugarcane juice with a little zest of lime, ginger and dry tangy spice.

It was enjoyable then, it is enjoyable even now.....

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