The story of Sri Lanka's most beloved sweetener starts with the kithul, or fishtail, palm tree and a tapper, like Amuvita Gamage Dayasena.
The slightly built farmer sharpens his knife on the fallen branch of a tree and climbs up a wooden lattice that he has tied to one side of a kithul tree in our garden. Within minutes, he is on the top of the nearly 40-foot-tall tree, making sharp incisions at the base of a cluster of flowers that droop down from a branch like a bunch of grapes. Dayasena ties a jute sack to the base of the cluster to collect droplets of sap trickling down. Learn more about the dying art of Kithul tapping @9provinces
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