BEYOND THE FOOD
GREAT CONVERSATION MAKES GREAT MEALS BETTER
Bring to your table not only exquisite, ethnic cuisine but also the cultural knowledge and insight to share with and impress your friends!
The coconut palm is so ubiquitous throughout the equatorial region that it has become an icon of the tropics in most Westerners’ minds. But the coconut is more than just a symbol of beautiful, hammock-strung tropical beaches. In fact, it provides the communities where it grows with much of the necessities of life.
Coconut water is not just a refreshing drink – it is a sterile liquid until the fruit is opened, and mixes so well with blood that it was used during World War II as an emergency transfusion liquid for patients who had lost a lot of blood.
The flesh of a young coconut is tender and sweet while the flesh from older coconuts can be dried and processed into cooking oil or grated and squeezed to extract a rich, creamy milk that’s widely used in the cuisines of South-East Asia, Brazil, Polynesia, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean.
The sap extracted from the coconut can be fermented to produce palm wine, or boiled and reduced to become palm sugar.
On top of all this, the trunk, husk, fruit and leaves can be made into a variety of materials including roofing, doormats, rope, fuel for wood-burning fires, soap, toothbrushes, cooking utensils… the list goes on and on. Truly, the coconut fully deserves its nickname in the Malay language: ‘tree of a thousand uses’.