The Many Faces of the Coconut
Am I the only who loves to look at the different faces in brown coconuts? 🙂 Ever since I was small I’ve been mesmerized at the range of expressions they have as you roll them from side to side! It’s not hard for me to create dialogues to match… yes I
was am an idle child. 😛
Coconuts are really wonderful things and so I think they will be the perfect topic for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this time around by a dear friend of this site, Rachel of Rachel’s Bite. I realize that most people not in a tropical setting don’t realize that coconuts don’t only come in brown and small, they also come in green and big 😀 Green coconuts which are younger, are used for their water and jelly, whereas brown coconuts are old and the jelly has now hardened into the crunchy sweet ‘meat’ that most of you are familiar with 🙂 Here in Trinidad coconut vendors can be found at various locations selling fresh coconut water from nuts that they chop in front of you. YUM! 🙂
If, like me, you also like the jelly, you can ask for a nut with water and jelly 🙂 Then when you are finished drinking the water the vendor will chop a piece of the shell for you to use as a ‘scoop’ before splitting open the nut so you can get at the insides 🙂
Here’s a pic of green coconuts that I took at the Port of Spain market earlier this year. This pic is one in a looong Market series that I am yet to post 🙁 In due time… 🙂
Coconut has been called the most useful tree in the world. Rope, soap, wine, textiles, baskets, cups and bowls, medicines and boat and building materials—all are byproducts of the versatile coconut palm. The fruit of the coconut tree is equally as versatile, producing a wide range of cooking ingredients.
The brown, hairy coconuts sold in western markets are not what you see growing on a tree. The coconut “nut,” the item commonly sold in western markets, is actually a drupe: a fruit with a hard stone (cherries and peaches are also drupes). But you must go through several layers before reaching the nut.
The coconut layers start with an outer shell that is smooth and ivory or gray when ripe. Beneath that lies a brown, hairy husk of loose, coarse fibers. This husky layer covers a hard, brown woody shell, with a small triangle of three indented “eyes.” Under this layer is a thin brown skin, which protects the interior kernel, where the white coconut meat and juicy liquid center reside.
The coconut palm is believed to hail from Malaysia and now grows throughout the Pacific Rim, India, parts of Africa, the Caribbean and South America.