The Market Lane Tuak Shop, or Kedai Tuak Lorong Pasar, is one of the few tuak shops remaining in Penang. (Another one still standing is the Cantonment Road Tuak Shop.) Also called toddy or palm wine, tuak is an alcoholic beverage made from the undeveloped flower of the coconut palm as well as the sugar palm.
In Penang, the collecting and market for tuak was entirely an Indian affair, with the majority of its drinkers being Indian laborers. The sugary palm sap is collected in bamboo containers and fermented. The fermentation takes place almost as soon as the palm sap is collected. This is due to the natural yeast in the air as well as residuel yeast in the bamboo recepticle. The drink is whitish in color, having the appearance and consistency of barley water - but of course the taste is downright different.
Toddy Shop Sculpture
In recognition of its position as a historic monument, the Market Lane Tuak Shop is celebrated with the Toddy Shop Sculpture, erected as part of the Marking George Town project.
From the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Then turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until you reach Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia and walk the distance. At the junction of Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia until the junction with Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Cross Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and then turn right. A short distance down Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, turn left into Lorong Pasar. The tuak shop is a short distance down Market Lane, or Lorong Pasar, on the left.
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