It’s a show, with a little fun and horror and finally a happy ending. The salesman pulls out a machete, puts a green object in the shape of a small baseball ball on a piece of wood and cuts it around. Finally, he makes a hole, inserts a straw and here you are! Have a drink.
Drinking directly from the source – in this case from the coconut, is the number one refreshment attraction offered by local vendors in many exotic countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Bali, but also in the nearby Turkey or Cyprus. It will perfectly refresh a thirsty body, especially when the coconut had previously been in a container full of ice cubes. This milky liquid also supplies the body with lots of minerals such as calcium.
The young, still green, about 5 to 7 months old coconuts contain the famous coconut water, it tastes plain and is practically free of protein, fiber or fat. So this is a diet drink, suitable even for those who are keeping in shape.
However, many gourmands prefer to choose older, liquid-containing fruits with milk-like color and density; this is richer in proteins, fibers or fats, fatty omega acids, vitamin C, pantothenic acid or folic and various minerals, benefiting the human body.
Tree of Life
How do we know the coconut is ripe? It’s simple. Just shake it. Usually, you will not hear the plopping sound if the coconut is still young because the water fills its shell. However, this evaporates when getting ripe. The color of the nuts is also changing – to dark brown. The flesh resembling jelly gets thick in time. After it is dried and processed into coconut flour, which bakers like to use for preparing desserts.
The Coconut tree is an incredibly versatile tree. It is no surprise that in Sanskrit it received the name kalpa vriksha – a tree that gives everything for survival. In English, it is coco nut. However, from a botanical point of view, it is a fruit with a seed.
Into fertile soil, the tree also yields 30 to 70 fruits a year, but there are also new- cultivates that have even more. Skillful pickers throw them out of the tree, climbing the tall palm trees like monkeys. The locals do not recommend to walk or lie under the palm trees; the nuts are likely to fall by themselves and has often caused even a fatal injury.
Millionaire’s Salad and Coconut Pearl
Coconut milk is particularly popular in different cuisines. For example, it is added to great Thai soups. Thanks to the amount of saturated fat and various minerals, coconut oil is an excellent option too. It is also beneficial for skin and is widely used in the cosmetic industry.
However, you can also eat shoots or so-called palm hearts. They taste like kohlrabi and the salad made of them is called a millionaire’s salad. That’s because the palm tree from which the shoots are harvested is likely to dry out.
Sometimes there is a rumor about a coconut pearl. However, it is a myth. Never you will find anybody who has seen it with their own eyes. However, what you can definitely see are coconut flowers. In Thailand, they are always in the wedding bouquet as a symbol of fertility.
Text: Jana Janků, photo: pixabay.com