Those born in the 70s would be the last generation of Belgaumites who could recall the traditional sugarcane centers in Shahapur and Tilakwadi area. Spread across a large plot, they ran a wooden crusher drawn by Bullocks, making a screeching sound as they endlessly revolved. With hay spread everywhere, the center sold juice by the brass pitcher, coming for Rs. 5 and served at least 2 people. The only problem was the mosquitoes that harassed once sundown happened.
Yesterday was a revelation for me as I stopped by a new center that I’d being seeing for a while now. Cane Point is your new age sugarcane center, located opposite Bank of India on Mahatma Phule Road, Shahapur.
What attracts you at first sight is its fresh, modern signage with colors resembling their juice and clean ambiance. Started a month ago by the Samaji brothers from Halaga, they serve organic sugarcane juice, crushed from cane grown at their own farms in Halaga. The sugarcane appears spotless and pale in color and the juice, served in tall glasses, tastes good enough to order a repeat serving. Though less sweet than the other centers, this juice is quite fulfilling and devoid of any residue. They have used a special sugarcane strain that has more juice than sugar and have bought a latest steel machine that crushes juice in seconds. Apparently, the machine itself cost them Rs. 1.80 lakhs.
We could not see any flies or mosquitoes, even in the midst of a thick evening. One of the Samaji lads running this center is an MSc in Physics while the other is a Commerce graduate and manage the affairs full time with their uncle. Cane point also serves Alepak, an accompaniment without which Sugarcane juice feels orphaned!
A tall glass of juice costs Rs. 20. One can try it if you look forward to hygiene, value organic foods, need parking space and want your evening to feel like an experience.