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The word "jackfruit" comes from Portuguese jaca, which in turn is derived from the Malayalam language term chakka (Malayalam chakka pazham)

 

Jackfruit nutrition facts

 

Jackfruit is absolutely one of a kind tropical fruit recognized for its unique shape, and size. The fruity flavor of its sweet arils (bulbs) can be appreciated from a distance. In common with other tropical fruits such as durian, banana, etc., it is also rich in energy, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins and free from saturated fats or cholesterol; fitting it into one of the healthy treats to relish!

 

Botanically, this popular Asian tropical fruit belongs to the family of Moraceae, of the genus: Artocarpus and is closely related to figs, mulberry, and breadfruit. Scientific name: Artocarpus heterophyllus.

 

Jackfruit is a huge tree that grows to as high as 30 meters, larger than mango, breadfruit, etc. It is believed to be indigenous to the Southwestern rain forests of India. Today, it widely cultivated in the tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil for its fruit, seeds, and wood. The tree grows best in tropical humid and rainy climates but rarely survives cold and frosty conditions.

jackfruit tree bearing fruits jackfruit-tree

Jackfruit tree with a heavy yield. Huge jackfruit tree.

 

In a season, each tree bears as many as 250 large fruits, supposed to be the biggest tree-borne fruits in the world. The fruit varies widely in size, weigh from 3 to 30 kg, and has oblong or round shape, measuring 10 cm to 60 cm in length, 25 to 75 cm in diameter. While unripe fruits are green, they turn light brown and spread a strong sweet, fruity smell once ripe.

 

jackfruit jackfruit bulb

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus). Golden-yellow color

edible aril (bulb).

(Photo courtesy: laughlin)

 

As in the durian fruit,As in the durian fruit, jackfruit's outer surface also is covered with blunt spikes which become soft as the fruit ripen.

 

Its interior consists of eye-catching orange-yellow color edible bulbs. Each bulb consists of sweet flesh (sheath) that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. There may be as many as 50 to 500 edible bulbs embedded in a single fruit interspersed in-between thin bands of fibers.

 

Jackfruit seed encased inside a thin, transparent outer cover. It largely composes of starch and protein. Each seed measures about 2 to 4 cm in length, and 1 to 3 cm in thickness.

 

Almost all the parts of the tree secrete white sticky latex-like milk (juice) upon infliction of injury.

 

Health benefits of jackfruit

 

100 g of edible jackfruit bulbs provide 95 calories. The fruit made of soft, easily digestible flesh (arils) made up of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly.

 

Jackfruit is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by binding to and eliminating cancer-causing chemicals from the colon.

 

The fresh fruit has small but significant amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid pigments such as carotene-ß, xanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin-ß. Together, these compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. Vitamin-A also required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A and carotenes has been found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

 

Jackfruit is a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 13.7 mg or 23% of RDA. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.

 

It is one of the rare fruits that is rich in a B-complex group of vitamins. It contains outstanding amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.

 

Further, fresh fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

  

Jackfruit seeds

dried jackfruit seeds

 

Jackfruit seeds are indeed very rich in digestible starch, protein, and minerals. In general, the seeds are gathered from the ripe fruit during summer, sun-dried and stored for use during the rainy season in many parts of South-Indian states. Again, in these areas, jackfruit seeds can be employed in a variety of recipes where they are eaten either by roasting as a snack or added to stews (curries) in place of lentils.

 

Selection and storage

 

Jackfruit is a summer season fruit coinciding with other tropical favorites like mango, durian, and mangosteen.

 

In the stores, buy fruit that emits mild yet rich flavor and just yields to thumb pressure. Thorn-like projections become softer in the case of the ripe fruit. Once ripen, the fruit deteriorates rather quickly unless its processed arils (bulbs) stored in the refrigerator.

 

Preparation and serving method

 

Cut the fruit in a similar fashion like other large size fruits like breadfruit. White, gummy latex oozes from the cut ends even in ripe fruits but to a lesser extent than in green unripe one. This latex problem can be overcome by applying a little coconut oil on the hands while separating bulbs since protective gloves would not help.

 

Another great way of dealing with latex problem is mopping or rubbing the cut sections with a lemon slice or gently drowning in a bowl of acidulated water. Discard the thick rind that runs through the middle of the fruit, and the whole section is gently twisted few times to loosen individual arils (bulbs).

edible jackfruit bulbs

 

Each aril (bulb) is made of sweet, thick orange-yellow flesh; cut it open with a small knife or split the bulb with fingertips vertically. Inside each bulb, you find a thick light brown color seed; keep it aside and enjoy the delicious flesh (sheath).

 

Here are some serving tips:

 

Jackfruit bulbs have a unique flavor and sweet taste. Enjoy them without any additions to experience their rich taste.

 

Jackfruit slices hand-mixed with grated coconut, honey, banana slices is one of the wonderfully delicious dessert preparations commonly served on festive occasions in southern parts of India.

 

The fruit also used in jam, jelly and chutney preparations.

 

Fruit slices are a great addition to fruit salad.

 

Jackfruit seeds are a good source of protein and minerals; used like vegetables and pulses in curry (sabzi) preparation in several Asian countries.

 

Unripe green fruit employed like a vegetable in the preparation known as "kathal sabzi" in some North Indian states and "sayur nangka" in Indonesia.

info_ www.nutrition-and-you.com/jackfruit.html

  

FRONT PAGE Explore #2. Thank YOU

 

farm4.static.flickr.com/3493/3244438846_2f6765a9e9_o.jpg

  

Found some nice warm lights bathing the belly of the coconut trees at Sentosa. I lookded up and said - "Why does one have to shoot only skyscrapers - vertical perspective. Why not this ;-) " LOL . Maybe I am nuts !!!!!!!!!

 

In memory of Bob Marley....

 

Ooh, yeah! All right!

 

We're jammin'

I wanna jam it wid you.

 

We're jammin', jammin',

And I hope you like jammin', too.........

 

Single Exposure. f/2.8; ISO1600 - handheld. Tuned thru lightroom 2. Increased exposure value + blacks for the left flank. Blues - luminance to accentuate the sparse clouds. layered together in PS.

(soundtrack: Horace Silver, "Que pasa?")

Perang Api yang dilaksanakan pada saat pengerupukan yang dilaksanakan oleh masyarakat Adat Br.Gunung dan Umakepuh, Desa Adat Buduk, Kec.Mengwi Kab.Badung Bali sudah berlangsung dari sejak dulu yang saat ini kalau ditanyakan kepada yang umurnya paling tua tidak dapat memberikan makna yang jelas terhadap pelaksanaan perang api pada saat pengerupukan , dikatakan tetamian ( warisan ).

 

Untuk sarana upacara dalam agama hindu salah satu dipakai adalah “ Api “ sekarang pada umumnya memakai dupa, dulu orang memakai api dakep ( Dua serabut kelapa yang disilang didalamnya ada api), dalam pelaksanaan rentetan pengerupukan khususannya perang api yang digunakan adalah Serabut Kelapa dan api, dimana api adalah simbul keberanian, keberanian terkait dengan kesaktian / ilmu kebatinan, jaman dahulu banyak yang mempelajari ilmu kebatinan dimana sudah dipastikan adanya adu kesaktian, sudah dipastikan dalam pertandingan ada yang kalah dan ada yang menang.

 

Dalam pelaksanaan perang api pada saat pengerupukan dilaksanakan pada saat Sandikala yaitu jam perbatasan siang dan malam yang mempunyai makna rwa bineda ( dua yang berbeda ), dalam perang api tersebut kita saling lempar api juga memiliki makna bahwa yang kita perangi adalah musuh dalam diri kita yang sangat sulit dilumpuhkan, misalnya hawa nafsu yang besoknya hari raya nyepi kita melaksanakan Tapa Brata Penyepian .

 

Siapapun mereka dalam kehidupan sekarang dapat menunjukan keberanian yang positif dan kemauan dan dapat mengalahkan musuh yang ada dalam dirinya ( Sad Ripu ) maka mendapatkan ketenangan yang abadi .

 

please view photo with all zise....

 

Fire war that held when "Pengerupukan" (a day before silent day)

hosted by the society of Br.Gunung and Umakepuh, Desa adat buduk, mengwi, Badung, Bali

was a inheritance from the ancestors.

 

as the implementation of Pengerupukan especially on Fire war

the atribute they need is coconut fibre and fire, as fire is the symbol of bravery.

 

fire war being held on Sandikala (about 6pm) which is the border of day and night that have a meaning of rwa bineda (two that different),

on fire war the part when we throw fire on each other also has a meaning that the one we fight is the enemy inside each of ourselves

that really hard to defeat, like for example the lust as the next day is the silent day,

we have to do Tapa Brata penyepian

   

photo in kupink www.flickr.com/photos/24251447@N08/3402989773/

 

My contribution for "Sweet, Karam and Coffee" hosted at a friend's place! :)

I did make a few changes to the original recipe, and used marmalade (i like the tangy flavour more) instead of strawberry jam ..the link to the original recipe is here

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family).

 

It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

 

The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

 

DESCRIPTION

PLANT

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.

 

FRUIT

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores (stoma) or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.

 

A full-sized coconut weighs about 1.44 kg. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a tonne of copra.

 

ROOTS

Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.

 

The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. The type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.

 

Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout its life. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that's 60 to 70 years old.

 

Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Inflorescence

 

The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Other sources use the term polygamomonoecious. The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

 

ETYMOLOGY

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor; he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. Tenga, its Malayalam and Tamil name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. Even earlier, it was called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his Topographia Christiana written about 545 AD, there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

 

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for no name is similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Tamil/Malayalam name tenga, and Canarese narle, expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

 

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish coco "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with cocar "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

 

The specific name nucifera is Latin for "nut-bearing".

Origin, domestication, and dispersal

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the plant is the subject of debate. O.F. Cook was one of the earliest modern researchers to draw conclusions about the location of origin of Cocos nucifera based on its current-day worldwide distribution. He hypothesized that the coconut originated in the Americas, based on his belief that American coconut populations predated European contact and because he considered pan-tropical distribution by ocean currents improbable. Thor Heyerdahl later used this hypothesis of the American origin of the coconut to support his theory that the Pacific Islanders originated in South America. However, more evidence exists for an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia and Malesia or the Indian Ocean. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas. Since 1978, the work on tracing the probable origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera has only recently been augmented by a publication on the germination rate of the coconut seednut and another on the importance of the coral atoll ecosystem. Briefly, the coconut originated in the coral atoll ecosystem — without human intervention — and required a thick husk and slow germination to survive and disperse.

 

DOMESTICATION

Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and it was early germination on the palm (vivipary) that was important, rather than increasing the number or size of the edible parts of a fruit that was already large enough. Human cultivation of the coconut selected, not for larger size, but for thinner husks and increased volume of endosperm, the solid “meat” or liquid “water” that provides the fruit its food value. Although these modifications for domestication would reduce the fruit’s ability to float, this ability would be irrelevant to a cultivated population.

 

Among modern C. nucifera, two major types or variants: a thick-husked, angular fruit and a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm reflect a trend of cultivation in C. nucifera: the first coconuts were of the niu kafa type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. As early human communities began to harvest coconuts for eating and planting, they (perhaps unintentionally) selected for a larger endosperm to husk ratio and a broader, spherical base, which rendered the fruit useful as a cup or bowl, thus creating the niu vai type. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. Harries’ adoption of the Polynesian terms niu kafa and niu vai has now passed into general scientific discourse, and his hypothesis is generally accepted.

 

Variants of C. nucifera are also categorized as Tall (var. typica) or Dwarf (var. nana). The two groups are genetically distinct, with the Dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. The Tall variety is outcrossing while Dwarf palms are incrossing, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the Tall group. It is believed that the Dwarf subgroup mutated from the Tall group under human selection pressure.

 

DISPERSAL

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 4,800 km, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki: "The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. However, it is more than likely that the coconut variety Heyerdahl chose for his long sea voyage was of the large, fleshy, spherical niu vai type, which Harries observed to have a significantly shorter germination type and worse buoyancy than the uncultivated niu kafa type. Therefore, Heyerdahl’s observations cannot be considered conclusive when it comes to determining the independent dispersal ability of the uncultivated coconut.

 

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. This provides some circumstantial evidence that Austronesian peoples carried coconuts across the ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) has shed light on the movements of Austronesian peoples. By examining 10 microsatellite loci, researchers found two genetically distinct subpopulations of coconut - one originating in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Pacific Ocean. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. Given that coconuts are ideally suited for ocean dispersal, individuals from one population possibly could have floated to the other. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect; however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas.

 

DISTRIBUTION

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

  

NATURAL HABITAT

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1500 mm to 2500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (70–80%+) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

 

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C, and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

 

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

 

- Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year

- Mean annual rainfall above 1000 mm

- No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

 

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

 

DISEASES

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the Maypan, has been bred for resistance to this disease.

 

PESTS

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae.

 

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the $800 million Philippine coconut industry.

 

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating: it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed; the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

 

In Kerala (India), the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 yielded no results; researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach (CAGA) to combat coconut mites.

 

PRODUCTION AND CULTIVATION

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 62 million tonnes per year (table). Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total (table).

 

CULTIVATION

Coconut trees are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation; in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated; fruit also tends to be shed.

 

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves; an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán.

 

HARVESTING

In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

 

INDIA

Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2013-14 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 92% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (31.93%), Kerala (27.54%), Karnataka (23.26%), and Andhra Pradesh (8.43%). Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list.

 

Various terms, such as copra and coir, are derived from the native Malayalam language. In Kerala, the coconut tree is called "Thengu" also termed as kalpa vriksham, which essentially means all parts of a coconut tree is useful some way or other. In Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree is called as "Thennai maram" and tender coconut is called as "Ilaneer" in the native language.

 

MALDIVES

The coconut is the national tree of the Maldives and is considered the most important plant in the country. A coconut tree is also included in the country's national emblem or coat of arms. Coconut trees are grown on all the islands. Before modern construction methods were introduced, coconut leaves were used as roofing material for many houses in the islands, while coconut timber was used to build houses and boats.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional high seas-going dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The 'know how' of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

 

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian "West Coast tall" (WC Tall) variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber.

 

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla.[52] The annual rainy season known locally as Khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

 

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. The artificial landscaping adopted in Florida may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary life styles and heavy-handed landscaping, there has been a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques.

 

SRI LANKA

An early mention of the planting of coconuts is found in the Mahavamsa during the reign of Agrabodhi II around 589 AD. Coconuts are common in the Sri Lankan diet and the main source of dietary fat.

 

UNITED STATES

In the United States coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

In Florida, Coconut palms will grow from coastal Pinellas County and St. Petersburg southwards on Florida's west coast, and Melbourne southwards on Florida's east coast. The occasional coconut palm is seen north of these areas in favoured microclimates in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as around Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on the east coast. They reach fruiting maturity, but can be damaged or killed by the occasional winter freezes in these areas. In South Texas they may also be grown in favoured microclimates around the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, and as far north as Corpus Christi , however more severe cold snaps keep them from producing viable fruit.

 

AUSTRALIA

Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales.

 

BERMUDA

Most of the tall mature coconut trees found in Bermuda were shipped to the island as seedlings on the decks of ships. In more recent years, the importation of coconuts was prohibited, therefore, a large proportion of the younger trees have been propagated from locally grown coconuts.

 

In the winter months, the growth rate of coconut trees declines due to cooler temperatures and people have commonly attributed this to the reduced yield of coconuts in comparison to tropical regions. However, whilst cooler winter temperatures may be a factor in reducing fruit production, the primary reason for the reduced yield is a lack of water. Bermuda's soil is generally very shallow (1.5 to 3 feet) and much of a coconut tree's root mass is found in the porous limestone underneath the soil. Due to the porosity of the limestone, Bermuda's coconut trees do not generally have a sufficient supply of water with which they are able to support a large number of fruit as rain water quickly drains down through the limestone layer to the water table which is far too deep for a coconut's roots to reach. This typically leads to a reduction in fruit yield (sometimes as little as one or two mature fruits) as well as a reduced milk content inside the coconut that often causes the fruit to be infertile.

 

Conversely, trees growing in close proximity to the sea almost universally yield a much greater volume of fruit as they are able to tap directly into the sea water which permeates the limestone in such areas. Not only do these trees produce a significantly higher yield, but also the fruit itself tends to be far more fertile due to the higher milk content. Trees found growing in Bermuda's marshy inland areas enjoy a similar degree of success as they are also able to tap directly into a constant supply of water.

 

EUROPE

As a tropical plant, coconut is not native to Europe, but grows in tropical territories of European countries, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal).

 

COOLER CLIMATES

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are very similar to the coconut, but much smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C and need a daily temperature above 22 °C to produce fruit.

 

USES

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".

 

COOKING

The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Some countries in South East Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor (in Indonesian) or macapuno (in Philippines) as a dessert drinks.

 

NUTRITION

Per 100 gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 grams) (table). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals, manganese, iron, phosphorus and zinc (table).

 

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

 

Per 100 gram (100 ml) serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

 

A protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation and spray drying.

 

COCONUT OIL

Another byproduct of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.

 

TODDY AND NECTAR

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as neera, also known as toddy or tuba (Philippines), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia) or karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka".

 

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 liters of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 liters.

 

HEART OF PALM AND COCONUT SPROUT

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

 

INDONESIA

Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts and soups throughout the archipelago. In the island of Sumatra, the famous Rendang, the traditional beef stew from West Sumatra, chunks of beef are cooked in coconut milk along with other spices for hours until thickened. In Jakarta, "Soto Babat" or beef tripe soup also uses coconut milk. In the island of Java, the sweet and savoury "Tempe Bacem" is made by cooking tempeh with coconut water, coconut sugar and other spices until thickened. "Klapertart" is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Celebes, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's second largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes. A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian Scouting organization. It can be seen on all the scouting paraphernalia that elementary (SMA) school children wear as well as on the scouting pins and flags.

 

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country. In the Philippines, particularly Cebu, rice is wrapped in coconut leaves for cooking and subsequent storage; these packets are called puso. Coconut milk, known as gata, and grated coconut flakes are used in the preparation of dishes such as laing, ginataan, bibingka, ube halaya, pitsi-pitsi, palitaw, buko and coconut pie. Coconut jam is made by mixing muscovado sugar with coconut milk. Coconut sport fruits are also harvested. One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut". Coconut water can be fermented to make a different product - nata de coco (coconut gel).

 

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, coconut is grown abundantly across Central and Southern Vietnam, and especially in Bến Tre Province, often called the "land of the coconut". It is used to make coconut candy, caramel, and jelly. Coconut juice and coconut milk are used, especially in Vietnam's southern style of cooking, including kho, chè and curry (cà ri).

 

INDIA

In southern India, most common way of cooking vegetables is to add grated coconut and then steam them with spices fried in oil. People from southern India also make chutney, which involves grinding the coconut with salt, chillies, and whole spices. Uruttu chammanthi (granulated chutney) is eaten with rice or kanji (rice gruel). It is also invariably the main side dish served with idli, vadai, and dosai. Coconut ground with spices is also mixed in sambar and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Dishes garnished with grated coconut are generally referred to as poduthol in North Malabar and thoran in rest of Kerala. Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk. Recently, this has been replaced with a steel or aluminium tube, which is then steamed over a pot. Coconut (Tamil: தேங்காய்) is regularly broken in the middle-class families in Tamil Nadu for food. Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses. In Karnataka sweets are prepared using coconut and dry coconut "copra"., Like Kaie Obattu, Kobri mitai etc.

 

WIKIPEDIA

View On Black

 

Coconut Cake

 

I've promised, after receiving good advice to reduce the number of images I upload each day.

 

"One" I said....So,so hard but like the title 'this one doesn't count'

 

My logic, after agreeing to capture my wife's weekly baking exploits I can't now refuse to upload it on the basis 'I've done my one for today'

 

So, just for today, another image......and home here, a happy wife :)

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family).

 

It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

 

The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

 

DESCRIPTION

PLANT

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.

 

FRUIT

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores (stoma) or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.

 

A full-sized coconut weighs about 1.44 kg. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a tonne of copra.

 

ROOTS

Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.

 

The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. The type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.

 

Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout its life. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that's 60 to 70 years old.

 

Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Inflorescence

 

The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Other sources use the term polygamomonoecious. The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

 

ETYMOLOGY

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor; he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. Tenga, its Malayalam and Tamil name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. Even earlier, it was called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his Topographia Christiana written about 545 AD, there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

 

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for no name is similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Tamil/Malayalam name tenga, and Canarese narle, expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

 

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish coco "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with cocar "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

 

The specific name nucifera is Latin for "nut-bearing".

Origin, domestication, and dispersal

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the plant is the subject of debate. O.F. Cook was one of the earliest modern researchers to draw conclusions about the location of origin of Cocos nucifera based on its current-day worldwide distribution. He hypothesized that the coconut originated in the Americas, based on his belief that American coconut populations predated European contact and because he considered pan-tropical distribution by ocean currents improbable. Thor Heyerdahl later used this hypothesis of the American origin of the coconut to support his theory that the Pacific Islanders originated in South America. However, more evidence exists for an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia and Malesia or the Indian Ocean. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas. Since 1978, the work on tracing the probable origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera has only recently been augmented by a publication on the germination rate of the coconut seednut and another on the importance of the coral atoll ecosystem. Briefly, the coconut originated in the coral atoll ecosystem — without human intervention — and required a thick husk and slow germination to survive and disperse.

 

DOMESTICATION

Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and it was early germination on the palm (vivipary) that was important, rather than increasing the number or size of the edible parts of a fruit that was already large enough. Human cultivation of the coconut selected, not for larger size, but for thinner husks and increased volume of endosperm, the solid “meat” or liquid “water” that provides the fruit its food value. Although these modifications for domestication would reduce the fruit’s ability to float, this ability would be irrelevant to a cultivated population.

 

Among modern C. nucifera, two major types or variants: a thick-husked, angular fruit and a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm reflect a trend of cultivation in C. nucifera: the first coconuts were of the niu kafa type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. As early human communities began to harvest coconuts for eating and planting, they (perhaps unintentionally) selected for a larger endosperm to husk ratio and a broader, spherical base, which rendered the fruit useful as a cup or bowl, thus creating the niu vai type. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. Harries’ adoption of the Polynesian terms niu kafa and niu vai has now passed into general scientific discourse, and his hypothesis is generally accepted.

 

Variants of C. nucifera are also categorized as Tall (var. typica) or Dwarf (var. nana). The two groups are genetically distinct, with the Dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. The Tall variety is outcrossing while Dwarf palms are incrossing, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the Tall group. It is believed that the Dwarf subgroup mutated from the Tall group under human selection pressure.

 

DISPERSAL

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 4,800 km, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki: "The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. However, it is more than likely that the coconut variety Heyerdahl chose for his long sea voyage was of the large, fleshy, spherical niu vai type, which Harries observed to have a significantly shorter germination type and worse buoyancy than the uncultivated niu kafa type. Therefore, Heyerdahl’s observations cannot be considered conclusive when it comes to determining the independent dispersal ability of the uncultivated coconut.

 

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. This provides some circumstantial evidence that Austronesian peoples carried coconuts across the ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) has shed light on the movements of Austronesian peoples. By examining 10 microsatellite loci, researchers found two genetically distinct subpopulations of coconut - one originating in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Pacific Ocean. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. Given that coconuts are ideally suited for ocean dispersal, individuals from one population possibly could have floated to the other. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect; however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas.

 

DISTRIBUTION

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

  

NATURAL HABITAT

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1500 mm to 2500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (70–80%+) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

 

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C, and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

 

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

 

- Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year

- Mean annual rainfall above 1000 mm

- No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

 

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

 

DISEASES

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the Maypan, has been bred for resistance to this disease.

 

PESTS

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae.

 

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the $800 million Philippine coconut industry.

 

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating: it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed; the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

 

In Kerala (India), the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 yielded no results; researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach (CAGA) to combat coconut mites.

 

PRODUCTION AND CULTIVATION

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 62 million tonnes per year (table). Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total (table).

 

CULTIVATION

Coconut trees are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation; in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated; fruit also tends to be shed.

 

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves; an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán.

 

HARVESTING

In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

 

INDIA

Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2013-14 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 92% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (31.93%), Kerala (27.54%), Karnataka (23.26%), and Andhra Pradesh (8.43%). Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list.

 

Various terms, such as copra and coir, are derived from the native Malayalam language. In Kerala, the coconut tree is called "Thengu" also termed as kalpa vriksham, which essentially means all parts of a coconut tree is useful some way or other. In Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree is called as "Thennai maram" and tender coconut is called as "Ilaneer" in the native language.

 

MALDIVES

The coconut is the national tree of the Maldives and is considered the most important plant in the country. A coconut tree is also included in the country's national emblem or coat of arms. Coconut trees are grown on all the islands. Before modern construction methods were introduced, coconut leaves were used as roofing material for many houses in the islands, while coconut timber was used to build houses and boats.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional high seas-going dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The 'know how' of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

 

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian "West Coast tall" (WC Tall) variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber.

 

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla.[52] The annual rainy season known locally as Khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

 

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. The artificial landscaping adopted in Florida may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary life styles and heavy-handed landscaping, there has been a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques.

 

SRI LANKA

An early mention of the planting of coconuts is found in the Mahavamsa during the reign of Agrabodhi II around 589 AD. Coconuts are common in the Sri Lankan diet and the main source of dietary fat.

 

UNITED STATES

In the United States coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

In Florida, Coconut palms will grow from coastal Pinellas County and St. Petersburg southwards on Florida's west coast, and Melbourne southwards on Florida's east coast. The occasional coconut palm is seen north of these areas in favoured microclimates in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as around Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on the east coast. They reach fruiting maturity, but can be damaged or killed by the occasional winter freezes in these areas. In South Texas they may also be grown in favoured microclimates around the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, and as far north as Corpus Christi , however more severe cold snaps keep them from producing viable fruit.

 

AUSTRALIA

Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales.

 

BERMUDA

Most of the tall mature coconut trees found in Bermuda were shipped to the island as seedlings on the decks of ships. In more recent years, the importation of coconuts was prohibited, therefore, a large proportion of the younger trees have been propagated from locally grown coconuts.

 

In the winter months, the growth rate of coconut trees declines due to cooler temperatures and people have commonly attributed this to the reduced yield of coconuts in comparison to tropical regions. However, whilst cooler winter temperatures may be a factor in reducing fruit production, the primary reason for the reduced yield is a lack of water. Bermuda's soil is generally very shallow (1.5 to 3 feet) and much of a coconut tree's root mass is found in the porous limestone underneath the soil. Due to the porosity of the limestone, Bermuda's coconut trees do not generally have a sufficient supply of water with which they are able to support a large number of fruit as rain water quickly drains down through the limestone layer to the water table which is far too deep for a coconut's roots to reach. This typically leads to a reduction in fruit yield (sometimes as little as one or two mature fruits) as well as a reduced milk content inside the coconut that often causes the fruit to be infertile.

 

Conversely, trees growing in close proximity to the sea almost universally yield a much greater volume of fruit as they are able to tap directly into the sea water which permeates the limestone in such areas. Not only do these trees produce a significantly higher yield, but also the fruit itself tends to be far more fertile due to the higher milk content. Trees found growing in Bermuda's marshy inland areas enjoy a similar degree of success as they are also able to tap directly into a constant supply of water.

 

EUROPE

As a tropical plant, coconut is not native to Europe, but grows in tropical territories of European countries, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal).

 

COOLER CLIMATES

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are very similar to the coconut, but much smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C and need a daily temperature above 22 °C to produce fruit.

 

USES

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".

 

COOKING

The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Some countries in South East Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor (in Indonesian) or macapuno (in Philippines) as a dessert drinks.

 

NUTRITION

Per 100 gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 grams) (table). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals, manganese, iron, phosphorus and zinc (table).

 

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

 

Per 100 gram (100 ml) serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

 

A protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation and spray drying.

 

COCONUT OIL

Another byproduct of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.

 

TODDY AND NECTAR

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as neera, also known as toddy or tuba (Philippines), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia) or karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka".

 

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 liters of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 liters.

 

HEART OF PALM AND COCONUT SPROUT

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

 

INDONESIA

Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts and soups throughout the archipelago. In the island of Sumatra, the famous Rendang, the traditional beef stew from West Sumatra, chunks of beef are cooked in coconut milk along with other spices for hours until thickened. In Jakarta, "Soto Babat" or beef tripe soup also uses coconut milk. In the island of Java, the sweet and savoury "Tempe Bacem" is made by cooking tempeh with coconut water, coconut sugar and other spices until thickened. "Klapertart" is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Celebes, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's second largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes. A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian Scouting organization. It can be seen on all the scouting paraphernalia that elementary (SMA) school children wear as well as on the scouting pins and flags.

 

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country. In the Philippines, particularly Cebu, rice is wrapped in coconut leaves for cooking and subsequent storage; these packets are called puso. Coconut milk, known as gata, and grated coconut flakes are used in the preparation of dishes such as laing, ginataan, bibingka, ube halaya, pitsi-pitsi, palitaw, buko and coconut pie. Coconut jam is made by mixing muscovado sugar with coconut milk. Coconut sport fruits are also harvested. One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut". Coconut water can be fermented to make a different product - nata de coco (coconut gel).

 

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, coconut is grown abundantly across Central and Southern Vietnam, and especially in Bến Tre Province, often called the "land of the coconut". It is used to make coconut candy, caramel, and jelly. Coconut juice and coconut milk are used, especially in Vietnam's southern style of cooking, including kho, chè and curry (cà ri).

 

INDIA

In southern India, most common way of cooking vegetables is to add grated coconut and then steam them with spices fried in oil. People from southern India also make chutney, which involves grinding the coconut with salt, chillies, and whole spices. Uruttu chammanthi (granulated chutney) is eaten with rice or kanji (rice gruel). It is also invariably the main side dish served with idli, vadai, and dosai. Coconut ground with spices is also mixed in sambar and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Dishes garnished with grated coconut are generally referred to as poduthol in North Malabar and thoran in rest of Kerala. Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk. Recently, this has been replaced with a steel or aluminium tube, which is then steamed over a pot. Coconut (Tamil: தேங்காய்) is regularly broken in the middle-class families in Tamil Nadu for food. Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses. In Karnataka sweets are prepared using coconut and dry coconut "copra"., Like Kaie Obattu, Kobri mitai etc.

 

WIKIPEDIA

These are tradtional German Christmas cookies called "Spitzbuben" (jam filled cookies) with a little secret: the jam is passion fruit and orange jam. And the dought is base on coconut. Added some Rum for a tropic touch of these.

I could not help but notice this pleasant scene of 3 blossoms....Gorse, Hawthorn and Rapeseed. To get the 3 together was awesome.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulex

  

Ulex (gorse, furze or whin) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae. The genus comprises about 20 plant species of thorny evergreen shrubs in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae. The species are native to parts of western Europe and northwest Africa, with the majority of species in Iberia.

Gorse is closely related to the brooms, and like them, has green stems and very small leaves and is adapted to dry growing conditions. However it differs in its extreme thorniness, the shoots being modified into branched thorns 1–4 centimetres (0.39–1.6 in) long, which almost wholly replace the leaves as the plant's functioning photosynthetic organs. The leaves of young plants are trifoliate, but in mature plants they are reduced to scales or small spines.[1] All the species have yellow flowers, generally showy, some with a very long flowering season.

  

Species

 

The most widely familiar species is common gorse (Ulex europaeus), the only species native to much of western Europe, where it grows in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils. It is also the largest species, reaching 2–3 metres (7–10 ft) in height; this compares with typically 20–40 centimetres (7.9–16 in) for Western Gorse (Ulex gallii). This latter species is characteristic of highly exposed Atlantic coastal heathland and montane habitats. In the eastern part of Great Britain, dwarf furze (Ulex minor) replaces western gorse. Ulex minor grows only about 30 centimetres (12 in) tall, a habit characteristic of sandy lowland heathland.

 

Common gorse flowers a little in late autumn and through the winter, coming into flower most strongly in spring. Western Gorse and Dwarf Furze flower in late summer (August-September in Ireland and Great Britain|Britain). Between the different species, some gorse is almost always in flower, hence the old country phrase: "When gorse is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion". Gorse flowers have a distinctive coconut scent, experienced very strongly by some individuals, but weakly by others.[2

  

Ecology

Gorse may grow as a fire-climax plant, well adapted to encourage and withstand fires, being highly flammable,[4] and having seed pods that are to a large extent opened by fire, thus allowing rapid regeneration after fire. The burnt stumps also readily sprout new growth from the roots. Where fire is excluded, gorse soon tends to be shaded out by taller-growing trees, unless other factors like exposure also apply. Typical fire recurrence periods in gorse stands are 5–20 years.

Gorse thrives in poor growing areas and conditions including drought;[5] it is sometimes found on very rocky soils,[6] where many species cannot thrive. Moreover, it is widely used for land reclamation (e.g., mine tailings), where its nitrogen-fixing capacity helps other plants establish better.

Gorse is a valuable plant for wildlife, providing dense thorny cover ideal for protecting bird nests. In Britain, France and Ireland, it is particularly noted for supporting Dartford Warblers (Sylvia undata) and European Stonechats (Saxicola rubicola); the common name of the Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) attests to its close association with gorse. The flowers are sometimes eaten by the caterpillars of the Double-striped Pug moth (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata), while those of the case-bearer moth Coleophora albicosta feed exclusively on gorse. The dry wood of dead gorse stems provides food for the caterpillars of the concealer moth Batia lambdella.

 

Invasive Species

 

In many areas of North America (notably California and Oregon), southern South America, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, the common gorse, introduced as an ornamental plant or hedge, has become an invasive species due to its aggressive seed dispersal; it has proved very difficult to eradicate and detrimental in native habitats. Common gorse is also an invasive species in the montane grasslands of Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka.[7]

 

Management

 

Gorse readily becomes dominant in suitable conditions, and where this is undesirable for agricultural or ecological reasons control is required, either to remove gorse completely, or to limit its extent. Gorse stands are often managed by regular burning or flailing, allowing them to regrow from stumps or seed. Denser areas of gorse may be bulldozed.

for cattle.

Uses

 

Foods

 

Gorse flowers are edible and can be used in salads, tea and to make a non-grape-based fruit wine.

As fodder, gorse is high in protein[citation needed] and may be used as feed for livestock, particularly in winter when other greenstuff is not available. Traditionally it was used as fodder for cattle, being made palatable either by "bruising" (crushing) with hand-held mallets, or grinding to a moss-like consistency with hand- or water-driven mills, or being finely chopped and mixed with straw chaff.[citation needed] Gorse is also eaten as forage by some livestock, such as feral ponies, which may eat little else in winter. Ponies may also eat the thinner stems of burnt gorse.

 

Fuel

 

Gorse bushes are highly flammable, and in many areas bundles of gorse were used to fire traditional bread ovens.[8]

 

Wood

 

Gorse wood has been used to make small objects; being non-toxic, it is especially suited for cutlery. In spite of its durability it is not used for construction because the plant is too small and the wood is unstable, being prone to warping. Gorse is useful for garden ornaments because it is resistant to weather and rot.

 

Gorse-based symbols

 

The furze is the badge of the Sinclair and MacLennan clans of Scotland. Compare this with the broom (Planta genista) as the emblem and basis of the name of the Plantagenet kings of England.

The flower, known as chorima in the Galician language, is considered the national flower of Galicia in NW Spain.

 

Gorse in popular culture

 

In Thomas Hardy's classic novel The Return of the Native, when Clym is partially blinded through excessive reading, he becomes a furze-cutter on Egdon Heath, to the dismay of his wife, Eustacia. In the book, the timeless, gorse-covered heath is described in each season of the novel's year-and-a-day timeline and becomes symbolic of the greater nature of mankind.

Its flammability rendered gorse symbolic as quickly flammable and quickly burning out; for example, Doyle, in his book "Sir Nigel" has Sir John Chandos say: "...They flare up like a furzebush in the flames, but if for a short space you may abide the heat of it, then there is a chance that it may be cooler... If the Welsh be like the furze fire, then, pardieu! the Scotch are the peat, for they will smolder and you will never come to the end of them."[9]

Winnie-the-Pooh fell into a gorse bush while trying to get honey in the first chapter of the book of the same name.[10]

In The second book of Tolkien's "Lord of the rings" trilogy, "The Two Towers", Frodo and Sam led by Gollum walked underneath very old and tall thickets of gorse on their way to pass by Minas Morgul. [11]

In "[[Red Doc>]]", Anne Carson's 2013 sequel to her 1998 novel-in-verse entitled "Autobiography of Red", the protagonist, G, owns a herd of musk oxen who like to feed on gorse; one ox in particular, Io, eats gorse flowers and hallucinates that she can fly.

  

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_hawthorn

   

Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn or single-seeded hawthorn, is a species of hawthorn native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. It has been introduced in many other parts of the world where it is an invasive weed. Other common names include may, mayblossom, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn, motherdie, and haw. This species is one of several that have been referred to as Crataegus oxyacantha, a name that has been rejected by the botanical community as too ambiguous.

   

Description

 

The Common Hawthorn is a shrub or small tree 5–14 m tall, with a dense crown. The bark is dull brown with vertical orange cracks. The younger stems bear sharp thorns, 1 to 1.5 cm long. The leaves are 2–4 cm long, obovate and deeply lobed, sometimes almost to the midrib, with the lobes spreading at a wide angle. The upper surface is dark green above and paler underneath.

The hermaphrodite flowers are produced in late spring (May to early June in its native area) in corymbs of 5-25 together; each flower is about 1 cm diameter, and has five white petals, numerous red stamens, and a single style; they are moderately fragrant. They are pollinated by midges, bees and other insects and later in the year bear numerous haws. The haw is a small, oval dark red fruit about 1 cm long, berry-like, but structurally a pome containing a single seed. Haws are important for wildlife in winter, particularly thrushes and waxwings; these birds eat the haws and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

It is distinguished from the related but less widespread Midland Hawthorn (C. laevigata) by its more upright growth, the leaves being deeply lobed, with spreading lobes, and in the flowers having just one style, not two or three. However they are inter-fertile and hybrids occur frequently; they are only entirely distinct in their more typical forms.

   

Uses

  

Medicinal use

Crataegus monogyna is one of the most common species used as the "hawthorn" of traditional herbalism, which is of considerable interest for treating cardiac insufficiency by evidence-based medicine. The plant parts used medicinally are usually sprigs with both leaves and flowers, or alternatively the fruit. Several species of Crataegus have both traditional and modern medicinal uses. It is a good source of antioxidant phytochemicals,especially extracts of hawthorn leaves with flowers.

  

In gardening and agriculture

 

Common Hawthorn is extensively planted as a hedge plant, especially for agricultural use. Its spines and close branching habit render it effectively stock and human proof with some basic maintenance. The traditional practice of hedge laying is most commonly practised with this species. It is a good fire wood which burns with a good heat and little smoke.[3]

Numerous hybrids exist, some of which are used as garden shrubs. The most widely used hybrid is C. × media (C. monogyna × C. laevigata), of which several cultivars are known, including the very popular 'Paul's Scarlet' with dark pink double flowers. Other garden shrubs that have sometimes been suggested as possible hybrids involving the Common Hawthorn[citation needed], include the Various-leaved Hawthorn of the Caucasus, which is only very occasionally found in parks and gardens.

  

Edible "berries", petals, and leaves

 

The fruit of hawthorn, called haws, are edible raw but are commonly made into jellies, jams, and syrups, used to make wine, or to add flavour to brandy. Botanically they are pomes, but they look similar to berries. A haw is small and oblong, similar in size and shape to a small olive or grape, and red when ripe. Haws develop in groups of 2-3 along smaller branches. They are pulpy and delicate in taste. In this species (C. monogyna) they have only one seed, but in other species of hawthorn there may be up to 5 seeds.

Petals are also edible,[4] as are the leaves, which if picked in spring when still young are tender enough to be used in salads.

 

Notable trees

 

An ancient specimen, and reputedly the oldest tree of any species in France, is to be found alongside the church at Saint Mars sur la Futaie, Mayenne [1]. The tree has a height of 9 m, and a girth of 2.65 m (2009). The inscription on the plaque beneath reads: "This hawthorn is probably the oldest tree in France. Its origin goes back to St Julien (3rd century)", but such claims are impossible to verify.

  

A famous specimen in England was the Glastonbury or Holy Thorn which, according to legend, sprouted from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea after he thrust it into the ground whilst visiting Glastonbury in the 1st century AD. The tree was noteworthy because it flowered twice in a year, once in the late spring which is normal, but also once after the harshness of midwinter has passed. The original tree at Glastonbury Abbey, felled in 1640s during the English Civil War,[2] has been propagated as the cultivar 'Biflora'.[6] A replacement was planted by the local council in 1951, but was cut down by vandals in 2010. [3]

The oldest known living specimen in East Anglia, and possibly in the United Kingdom, is known as "The Hethel Old Thorn",[7] and is located in the churchyard in the small village of Hethel, south of Norwich, in Norfolk. It is reputed to be more than 700 years old, having been planted in the 13th century.

   

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapeseed

  

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed (and, in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola), is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). The name derives from the Latin for turnip, rāpa or rāpum, and is first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century. Older writers usually distinguished the turnip and rape by the adjectives round and long (-rooted), respectively.[2] See also Brassica napobrassica, which may be considered a variety of Brassica napus. Some botanists include the closely related Brassica campestris within B. napus. (See Triangle of U).

Brassica napus is cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed, the third largest source of vegetable oil in the world.[

  

Cultivation and uses

 

Rapeseed oil was produced in the 19th century as a source of a lubricant for steam engines. It was less useful as food for animals or humans because it has a bitter taste due to high levels of glucosinolates. Varieties have now, however, been bred to reduce the content of glucosinolates, yielding a more palatable oil. This has had the side effect that the oil contains much less erucic acid.[citation needed]

Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel; leading producers include the European Union, Canada, the United States, Australia, China and India. In India, it is grown on 13% of cropped land.[citation needed] According to the United States Department of Agriculture, rapeseed was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000, after soybean and oil palm, and also the world's second leading source of protein meal, although only one-fifth of the production of the leading soybean meal.[citation needed]

World production is growing rapidly, with FAO reporting 36 million tons of rapeseed were produced in the 2003-2004 season, and estimating 58.4 million tons in the 2010-2011 season.[4] In Europe, rapeseed is primarily cultivated for animal feed,[citation needed] owing to its very high lipid and medium protein content.[citation needed]

 

Natural rapeseed oil contains 50% erucic acid. Wild type seeds also contain high levels of glucosinolates (mustard oil glucosindes), chemical compounds that significantly lowered the nutritional value of rapeseed press cakes for animal feed. In North America, the term "canola", originally a syncopated form of the abbreviation "Can.O., L-A." (Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid) that was used by the Manitoba government to label the seed during its experimental stages, is widely used to refer to rapeseed, and is now a tradename for "double low" (low erucic acid and low glucosinolate) rapeseed.[5]

The rapeseed is the valuable, harvested component of the crop. The crop is also grown as a winter-cover crop. It provides good coverage of the soil in winter, and limits nitrogen run-off. The plant is ploughed back in the soil or used as bedding. On some organic operations, livestock such as sheep or cattle are allowed to graze on the plants.

Processing of rapeseed for oil production produces rapeseed meal as a byproduct. The byproduct is a high-protein animal feed, competitive with soya.[citation needed] The feed is mostly employed for cattle feeding, but also for pigs and chickens (though less valuable for these). The meal has a very low content of the glucosinolates responsible for metabolism disruption in cattle and pigs.[6] Neither canola nor soy is recommended as feed for organic animal products, as both are predominantly GMO (some estimates are now at 90%), which is prohibited by organic standards.[citation needed]

Rapeseed "oil cake" is also used as a fertilizer in China, and may be used for ornamentals, such as bonsai, as well.[citation needed]

Rapeseed leaves and stems are also edible, similar to those of the related bok choy or kale. Some varieties of rapeseed (called 油菜, yóu cài, lit. "oil vegetable" in Chinese; yau choy in Cantonese; cải dầu in Vietnamese; phak kat kan khao [ผักกาดก้านขาว] in Thai; and nanohana [菜の花]/nabana [菜花] in Japanese) are sold as greens, primarily in Asian groceries, including those in California, where it is known as yao choy or tender greens. They are eaten as sag (spinach) in Indian and Nepalese cuisine, usually stir-fried with salt, garlic and spices.

Rapeseed produces great quantities of nectar, and honeybees produce a light-colored, but peppery honey from it. It must be extracted immediately after processing is finished, as it will quickly granulate in the honeycomb and will be impossible to extract. The honey is usually blended with milder honeys, if used for table use or sold as bakery grade. Rapeseed growers contract with beekeepers for the pollination of the crop.

"Total loss" chain and bar oil for chainsaws have been developed which are typically 70% or more canola/rapeseed oil. These lubricants are claimed to be less harmful to the environment and less hazardous to users than traditional mineral oil products,[7] although they are currently typically two to five times more expensive, leading some to use inexpensive cooking oil instead. Some countries, such as Austria, have banned the use of petroleum-based chainsaw oil.[8] These "biolubricants" are generally reported to be functionally comparable to traditional mineral oil products, with some reports claiming one or other is superior,[8] but with no overall consensus yet evident.

Rapeseed has also been researched as means of containing radionuclides that contaminated the soil after the Chernobyl disaster.[9][10][11] It was discovered by researchers at the Belarusian Research Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry that rapeseed has a rate of uptake up to three times more efficient than other grains, and only about 3 to 6% of the radionuclides goes into the parts of the plant that could potentially enter the food chain. As oil repels radionuclides, it could be produced canola oil free from contaminants being concentrated in other parts of the plant – the straw, the roots, the seed pods, etc., which then can be ploughed back into the soil and create a recycling process.[9]

 

Biodiesel

 

Rapeseed oil is used as diesel fuel, either as biodiesel, straight in heated fuel systems, or blended with petroleum distillates for powering motor vehicles. Biodiesel may be used in pure form in newer engines without engine damage and is frequently combined with fossil-fuel diesel in ratios varying from 2% to 20% biodiesel. Owing to the costs of growing, crushing, and refining rapeseed biodiesel, rapeseed-derived biodiesel from new oil costs more to produce than standard diesel fuel, so diesel fuels are commonly made from the used oil. Rapeseed oil is the preferred oil stock for biodiesel production in most of Europe, accounting for about 80% of the feedstock,[12] partly because rapeseed produces more oil per unit of land area compared to other oil sources, such as soybeans, but primarily because canola oil has a significantly lower Gel point (petroleum) than most other vegetable oils. An estimated 66% of total rapeseed oil supply in the European Union is expected to be used for biodiesel production in the 2010-2011 year.[12]

Rapeseed is currently grown with a high level of nitrogen-containing fertilisers, and the manufacture of these generates N2O, a potent greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of CO2. An estimated 3-5% of nitrogen provided as fertilizer for rapeseed is converted to N2O.[13]

 

Cultivars

 

Canola was originally a trademark, but is now a generic term in North America for edible varieties of rapeseed oil. In Canada, an official definition of canola is codified in Canadian law.

Rapeseed oil had a distinctive taste and a greenish colour due to the presence of chlorophyll. It also contained a high concentration[specify] of erucic acid.

A variety of rapeseed developed in 1998 is considered to be the most disease- and drought-resistant canola. This and other recent varieties have been produced by using genetic engineering. In 2009, 90% of the rapeseed crops planted in Canada were GM (genetically modified), herbicide-tolerant canola varieties.[14]

 

Health effects

 

Rapeseed oil is one of the oldest vegetable oils, but historically was used in limited quantities due to high levels of erucic acid, which is damaging to cardiac muscle, and glucosinolates, which made it less nutritious in animal feed.[15] Unmodified rapeseed oil can contain up to 45% erucic acid.[16] Food-grade canola oil derived from rapeseed cultivars, also known as rapeseed 00 oil, low erucic acid rapeseed oil, LEAR oil, and rapeseed canola-equivalent oil, has been generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration.[17] Canola oil is limited by government regulation to a maximum of 2% erucic acid by weight in the USA[17] and 5% in the EU,[18] with special regulations for infant food. These low levels of erucic acid are not believed to cause harm in human neonates.[17][18]

In 1981, a deadly outbreak of disease in Spain, known as toxic oil syndrome,[19] was caused by the consumption of rapeseed oil for industrial use that was fraudulently sold as cooking oil.

Rapeseed pollen contains known allergens.[20][21] Whether rape pollen causes hay fever has not been well established, because rape is an insect-pollinated (entomophilous) crop, whereas hay fever is usually caused by wind-pollinated plants. The inhalation of oilseed rape dust may cause asthma in agricultural workers.[22]

 

Production

 

Worldwide production of rapeseed (including canola) has increased sixfold between 1975 and 2007. The production of canola and rapeseed 00 since 1975 has opened up the edible oil market for rapeseed oil. Since 2002, production of biodiesel has been steadily increasing in EU and USA to 6 million metric tons in 2006. Rapeseed oil is positioned to supply a good portion of the vegetable oils needed to produce that fuel. World production is thus expected to trend further upward between 2005 and 2015 as biodiesel content requirements in Europe go into effect.[23] Every ton of rapeseed yields about 400 kg of oil.

 

Top rapeseed producers

(million metric ton)

Country19651975198519952000200520072009

China

1.11.55.69.811.313.010.513.5

Canada

0.51.83.56.47.29.49.611.8

India

1.52.33.15.85.87.67.47.2

Germany

0.30.61.23.13.65.05.36.3

France

0.30.51.42.83.54.54.75.6

Poland

0.50.71.11.41.01.42.12.5

United Kingdom

<0.0070.060.91.21.21.92.12.0

Australia

<0.007<0.060.10.61.81.41.11.9

Ukraine

<0.007<0.06<0.03<0.10.10.31.01.9

Czech Republic

0.070.10.30.70.80.71.01.1

United States

<0.007<0.06<0.030.20.90.70.70.7

Russia

N/AN/AN/A0.10.10.30.60.7

Denmark

0.050.10.50.30.30.30.60.6

Belarus

N/AN/AN/A0.030.070.10.20.6

Hungary

0.0080.10.10.10.20.30.50.6

Romania

0.010.020.040.040.10.10.40.6

European Union

-------19.3

World Total5.28.819.234.239.546.450.561.6

Source:

UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)[24]

  

Pests and diseases

 

Animal pests

 

•Bertha armyworms (Mamestra configurata)

•Bronzed field beetle (Adelium brevicorne) larvae

•Cyst nematode (Heterodera schachtii)

•Diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella)

•Flea beetles (Phyllotreta sp.)

•Grasshoppers (order Orthoptera)

•Harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica)

•Lygus bugs (Lygus spp.)

•Pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus)

•Root maggots (Delia spp.)

•Snails and slugs

 

Diseases

 

•Beet western yellows virus (Luteoviridae family)

•Blackleg (caused by the fungus species Leptosphaeria maculans)

•Clubroot (caused by the protist Plasmodiophora brassicae)

•Sclerotinia white stem rot (caused by the fungus genus Sclerotinia)

•White rust disease (caused by the fungus species Albugo candida)

 

Genome sequencing and genetics

 

Bayer Cropscience (in collaboration with BGI-Shenzhen, China, Keygene N.V., the Netherlands and the University of Queensland, Australia) announced it had sequenced the entire genome of Brassica napus and its constituent genomes present in Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea in 2009. The "A" genome component of the amphidiploid rapeseed species B. napus is currently being sequenced by the Multinational Brassica Genome Project.[25][dated info]

 

GMO (genetically modified organism) controversy[edit]

 

The Monsanto Company has genetically engineered new cultivars of rapeseed to be resistant to the effects of its herbicide, Roundup. They have sought compensation from farmers found to have the Roundup Ready gene in canola in their fields without paying a license fee. These farmers have claimed the Roundup Ready gene was blown into their fields and crossed with unaltered canola. Other farmers claim that after spraying Roundup in non-canola fields to kill weeds before planting, Roundup Ready volunteers are left behind, causing extra expense to rid their fields of the weeds.

In a closely followed legal battle, the Supreme Court of Canada found in favor of Monsanto's patent infringement claim for unlicensed growing of Roundup Ready in its 2004 ruling on Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser. The case garnered international controversy, as a court-sanctioned legitimation for the global patent protection of genetically modified crops. However, Schmeiser was not required to pay damages, as he did not benefit financially from the GMO crop in his field.[citation needed]

In March 2008, an out-of-court settlement between Monsanto and Schmeiser has an agreement for Monsanto to clean up the entire GMO-canola crop on Schmeiser's farm at a cost of $660.

 

Homemade and amazingly delicious. Daughter said they must be called: "Yum-yum buns".

Freshly milled organic spelt, barley, rye, oat, buckwheat & hard red wheat - fermented overnight with some organic raw milk kefir or yogurt.

Homemade cheese from raw jersey cow milk. Eggs from our backyard hens.

 

RECIPE:

 

Dough:

1 cup / 250ml of raw jersey cow milk

3 eggs from our backyard hens

3/4 cup / 180 ml of organic extra virgin olive oil

1” cube of fresh east or 1 tsp of dry east

2 tbsp of rapadura

1 tsp of unrefined sea salt

1 tsp of non-aluminum baking powder

1 lb / 1/2 kg organic whole grain (spelt, rye, millet, kamut, barley, oat, buckwheat, wheat…) flour

1 lb / 1/2 kg / unbleached white flour

 

Filling:

300g / 3/4lb homemade raw milk cheese (or feta)

1 cup / 250ml organic raw milk sour cream

 

Glaze:

1 egg yolk from our backyard hens

1 tbsp of raw jersey cow milk

125g / 1/4lb of organic pastured butter

 

Wet the flour with kefir or yogurt just enough so that it can form a hard ball. Let it ferment overnight (for about 12 hours).

Add slightly warm milk, salt, baking powder, oil, sugar, slightly beaten eggs.

If you are using dry east add it here / if you are using fresh east put it in a small cup with a bit of warm milk, rapadura and 2 tbsp of flour and let it to rise for about 15 minutes.

Add the east to the flour mixture now.

Mix everything well with a wooden spoon and let it sit for about 1h.

Knead the dough by hand and divide it into 8-10 balls. Use the wooden rolling pin to flatten the balls on a wooden board into 5mm/ 1/8” thick circles. Using a knife cut the circles through the center (like you would cut a round cake) into 8 equal parts.

 

In a separate bowl crumble the cheese and mix it with sour cream.

 

Put a teaspoon of this mixture on a wide end of each triangular dough piece and than roll the piece into a bun starting from the wide end folding the side corners of the wide end over the cheese mixture to prevent it from leaking out.

Place buns on an oiled stainless steel, porcelain or enamelled pan (use butter, natural lard, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil). You may chose to use a non bleached baking paper.

Let them rest for about 15-30 minutes (to rise a bit) before putting into the oven.

 

In a small bowl beat egg yolk with a tbsp of raw milk. Brush the top of each bun with this mixture and put a sliver of butter on the top. You may also sprinkle with organic sprouted sesame seeds or caraway seeds.

 

Bake at 180C / 350F for about 15 minutes (look for nice golden colour).

 

Instead of cheese/sour cream mixture for the feeling you may use a thick homemade organic plum (or any other) jam and have these become sweet instead of a savoury treat.

 

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family).

 

It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

 

The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

 

DESCRIPTION

PLANT

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.

 

FRUIT

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores (stoma) or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.

 

A full-sized coconut weighs about 1.44 kg. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a tonne of copra.

 

ROOTS

Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.

 

The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. The type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.

 

Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout its life. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that's 60 to 70 years old.

 

Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Inflorescence

 

The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Other sources use the term polygamomonoecious. The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

 

ETYMOLOGY

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor; he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. Tenga, its Malayalam and Tamil name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. Even earlier, it was called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his Topographia Christiana written about 545 AD, there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

 

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for no name is similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Tamil/Malayalam name tenga, and Canarese narle, expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

 

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish coco "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with cocar "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

 

The specific name nucifera is Latin for "nut-bearing".

Origin, domestication, and dispersal

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the plant is the subject of debate. O.F. Cook was one of the earliest modern researchers to draw conclusions about the location of origin of Cocos nucifera based on its current-day worldwide distribution. He hypothesized that the coconut originated in the Americas, based on his belief that American coconut populations predated European contact and because he considered pan-tropical distribution by ocean currents improbable. Thor Heyerdahl later used this hypothesis of the American origin of the coconut to support his theory that the Pacific Islanders originated in South America. However, more evidence exists for an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia and Malesia or the Indian Ocean. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas. Since 1978, the work on tracing the probable origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera has only recently been augmented by a publication on the germination rate of the coconut seednut and another on the importance of the coral atoll ecosystem. Briefly, the coconut originated in the coral atoll ecosystem — without human intervention — and required a thick husk and slow germination to survive and disperse.

 

DOMESTICATION

Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and it was early germination on the palm (vivipary) that was important, rather than increasing the number or size of the edible parts of a fruit that was already large enough. Human cultivation of the coconut selected, not for larger size, but for thinner husks and increased volume of endosperm, the solid “meat” or liquid “water” that provides the fruit its food value. Although these modifications for domestication would reduce the fruit’s ability to float, this ability would be irrelevant to a cultivated population.

 

Among modern C. nucifera, two major types or variants: a thick-husked, angular fruit and a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm reflect a trend of cultivation in C. nucifera: the first coconuts were of the niu kafa type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. As early human communities began to harvest coconuts for eating and planting, they (perhaps unintentionally) selected for a larger endosperm to husk ratio and a broader, spherical base, which rendered the fruit useful as a cup or bowl, thus creating the niu vai type. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. Harries’ adoption of the Polynesian terms niu kafa and niu vai has now passed into general scientific discourse, and his hypothesis is generally accepted.

 

Variants of C. nucifera are also categorized as Tall (var. typica) or Dwarf (var. nana). The two groups are genetically distinct, with the Dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. The Tall variety is outcrossing while Dwarf palms are incrossing, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the Tall group. It is believed that the Dwarf subgroup mutated from the Tall group under human selection pressure.

 

DISPERSAL

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 4,800 km, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki: "The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. However, it is more than likely that the coconut variety Heyerdahl chose for his long sea voyage was of the large, fleshy, spherical niu vai type, which Harries observed to have a significantly shorter germination type and worse buoyancy than the uncultivated niu kafa type. Therefore, Heyerdahl’s observations cannot be considered conclusive when it comes to determining the independent dispersal ability of the uncultivated coconut.

 

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. This provides some circumstantial evidence that Austronesian peoples carried coconuts across the ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) has shed light on the movements of Austronesian peoples. By examining 10 microsatellite loci, researchers found two genetically distinct subpopulations of coconut - one originating in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Pacific Ocean. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. Given that coconuts are ideally suited for ocean dispersal, individuals from one population possibly could have floated to the other. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect; however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas.

 

DISTRIBUTION

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

  

NATURAL HABITAT

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1500 mm to 2500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (70–80%+) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

 

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C, and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

 

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

 

- Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year

- Mean annual rainfall above 1000 mm

- No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

 

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

 

DISEASES

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the Maypan, has been bred for resistance to this disease.

 

PESTS

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae.

 

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the $800 million Philippine coconut industry.

 

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating: it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed; the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

 

In Kerala (India), the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 yielded no results; researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach (CAGA) to combat coconut mites.

 

PRODUCTION AND CULTIVATION

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 62 million tonnes per year (table). Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total (table).

 

CULTIVATION

Coconut trees are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation; in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated; fruit also tends to be shed.

 

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves; an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán.

 

HARVESTING

In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

 

INDIA

Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2013-14 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 92% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (31.93%), Kerala (27.54%), Karnataka (23.26%), and Andhra Pradesh (8.43%). Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list.

 

Various terms, such as copra and coir, are derived from the native Malayalam language. In Kerala, the coconut tree is called "Thengu" also termed as kalpa vriksham, which essentially means all parts of a coconut tree is useful some way or other. In Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree is called as "Thennai maram" and tender coconut is called as "Ilaneer" in the native language.

 

MALDIVES

The coconut is the national tree of the Maldives and is considered the most important plant in the country. A coconut tree is also included in the country's national emblem or coat of arms. Coconut trees are grown on all the islands. Before modern construction methods were introduced, coconut leaves were used as roofing material for many houses in the islands, while coconut timber was used to build houses and boats.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional high seas-going dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The 'know how' of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

 

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian "West Coast tall" (WC Tall) variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber.

 

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla.[52] The annual rainy season known locally as Khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

 

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. The artificial landscaping adopted in Florida may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary life styles and heavy-handed landscaping, there has been a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques.

 

SRI LANKA

An early mention of the planting of coconuts is found in the Mahavamsa during the reign of Agrabodhi II around 589 AD. Coconuts are common in the Sri Lankan diet and the main source of dietary fat.

 

UNITED STATES

In the United States coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

In Florida, Coconut palms will grow from coastal Pinellas County and St. Petersburg southwards on Florida's west coast, and Melbourne southwards on Florida's east coast. The occasional coconut palm is seen north of these areas in favoured microclimates in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as around Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on the east coast. They reach fruiting maturity, but can be damaged or killed by the occasional winter freezes in these areas. In South Texas they may also be grown in favoured microclimates around the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, and as far north as Corpus Christi , however more severe cold snaps keep them from producing viable fruit.

 

AUSTRALIA

Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales.

 

BERMUDA

Most of the tall mature coconut trees found in Bermuda were shipped to the island as seedlings on the decks of ships. In more recent years, the importation of coconuts was prohibited, therefore, a large proportion of the younger trees have been propagated from locally grown coconuts.

 

In the winter months, the growth rate of coconut trees declines due to cooler temperatures and people have commonly attributed this to the reduced yield of coconuts in comparison to tropical regions. However, whilst cooler winter temperatures may be a factor in reducing fruit production, the primary reason for the reduced yield is a lack of water. Bermuda's soil is generally very shallow (1.5 to 3 feet) and much of a coconut tree's root mass is found in the porous limestone underneath the soil. Due to the porosity of the limestone, Bermuda's coconut trees do not generally have a sufficient supply of water with which they are able to support a large number of fruit as rain water quickly drains down through the limestone layer to the water table which is far too deep for a coconut's roots to reach. This typically leads to a reduction in fruit yield (sometimes as little as one or two mature fruits) as well as a reduced milk content inside the coconut that often causes the fruit to be infertile.

 

Conversely, trees growing in close proximity to the sea almost universally yield a much greater volume of fruit as they are able to tap directly into the sea water which permeates the limestone in such areas. Not only do these trees produce a significantly higher yield, but also the fruit itself tends to be far more fertile due to the higher milk content. Trees found growing in Bermuda's marshy inland areas enjoy a similar degree of success as they are also able to tap directly into a constant supply of water.

 

EUROPE

As a tropical plant, coconut is not native to Europe, but grows in tropical territories of European countries, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal).

 

COOLER CLIMATES

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are very similar to the coconut, but much smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C and need a daily temperature above 22 °C to produce fruit.

 

USES

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".

 

COOKING

The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Some countries in South East Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor (in Indonesian) or macapuno (in Philippines) as a dessert drinks.

 

NUTRITION

Per 100 gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 grams) (table). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals, manganese, iron, phosphorus and zinc (table).

 

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

 

Per 100 gram (100 ml) serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

 

A protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation and spray drying.

 

COCONUT OIL

Another byproduct of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.

 

TODDY AND NECTAR

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as neera, also known as toddy or tuba (Philippines), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia) or karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka".

 

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 liters of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 liters.

 

HEART OF PALM AND COCONUT SPROUT

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

 

INDONESIA

Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts and soups throughout the archipelago. In the island of Sumatra, the famous Rendang, the traditional beef stew from West Sumatra, chunks of beef are cooked in coconut milk along with other spices for hours until thickened. In Jakarta, "Soto Babat" or beef tripe soup also uses coconut milk. In the island of Java, the sweet and savoury "Tempe Bacem" is made by cooking tempeh with coconut water, coconut sugar and other spices until thickened. "Klapertart" is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Celebes, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's second largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes. A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian Scouting organization. It can be seen on all the scouting paraphernalia that elementary (SMA) school children wear as well as on the scouting pins and flags.

 

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country. In the Philippines, particularly Cebu, rice is wrapped in coconut leaves for cooking and subsequent storage; these packets are called puso. Coconut milk, known as gata, and grated coconut flakes are used in the preparation of dishes such as laing, ginataan, bibingka, ube halaya, pitsi-pitsi, palitaw, buko and coconut pie. Coconut jam is made by mixing muscovado sugar with coconut milk. Coconut sport fruits are also harvested. One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut". Coconut water can be fermented to make a different product - nata de coco (coconut gel).

 

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, coconut is grown abundantly across Central and Southern Vietnam, and especially in Bến Tre Province, often called the "land of the coconut". It is used to make coconut candy, caramel, and jelly. Coconut juice and coconut milk are used, especially in Vietnam's southern style of cooking, including kho, chè and curry (cà ri).

 

INDIA

In southern India, most common way of cooking vegetables is to add grated coconut and then steam them with spices fried in oil. People from southern India also make chutney, which involves grinding the coconut with salt, chillies, and whole spices. Uruttu chammanthi (granulated chutney) is eaten with rice or kanji (rice gruel). It is also invariably the main side dish served with idli, vadai, and dosai. Coconut ground with spices is also mixed in sambar and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Dishes garnished with grated coconut are generally referred to as poduthol in North Malabar and thoran in rest of Kerala. Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk. Recently, this has been replaced with a steel or aluminium tube, which is then steamed over a pot. Coconut (Tamil: தேங்காய்) is regularly broken in the middle-class families in Tamil Nadu for food. Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses. In Karnataka sweets are prepared using coconut and dry coconut "copra"., Like Kaie Obattu, Kobri mitai etc.

 

WIKIPEDIA

I don't often get mad and I try very much to stay away from sad, life is humorous, laugh everyday...it makes everything so much easier...when you stop laughing, you stop living, plain and clear....

 

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In Phnom Penh, Hopefulness Replaces Despair

 

By STUART EMMRICH

IT'S a late Saturday afternoon in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and the waterfront along the Tonle Sap River is the place to be. As clusters of elderly women sit on concrete benches overlooking the water, peddlers set up stands from which they sell slices of fresh pineapple while youngsters on motorbikes deftly weave among the crush of pedestrians. Boat captains yell out to passing couples, offering sunset rides on their tiny wooden vessels, as shirtless children swim or fish in the muddy water. Suddenly, a lone elephant, gently guided by its young handler, majestically makes its way through the crowd.

 

At this moment, Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, seems frozen in time, as the scene in front of you plays out much the way it must have 70 or 80 years ago, when Cambodia was part of French-controlled Indochina and the city was known as the Pearl of Asia. But then you notice the bank of A.T.M.'s in the nearby storefronts, the Internet cafes crammed with fashionably dressed teenagers checking their e-mail, the sleek air-conditioned bars with names like Metro and Heart of Darkness. And all around you, you hear a polyglot of languages — English, French, Korean, Spanish, Chinese — that are a testament to this city's reappearance on the global tourism map.

 

In fact, after a few days in this city, you notice that Phnom Penh has something of a “next Prague” vibe about it — a place where many young people from around the world, heady with excitement and the thrill of the unknown, are coming to reinvent themselves. At least that is what it feels like as you run into groups of Americans hanging out in one of the cramped nightclubs along Sisowath Quay, or vie with Australian expatriates for a table during the crowded two-for-one happy hour at the Elephant Bar in the Raffles Hotel, or scan page after newspaper page of job listings in the English-language Cambodia Daily.

 

New high-end restaurants are just around the corner from stalls doing a brisk business selling street food. A stylish boutique hotel — the 10-room Pavilion — has recently opened, bridging the gap between the palatial Raffles and the tiny, bare-bones establishments catering to the backpacker crowd. And the National Museum, which after years of neglect and near-ruin under the Khmer Rouge, is slowly coming back, its incomparable collection of centuries-old Khmer art, including some stunning stone sculptures, now attracting hundreds of visitors a day.

 

That museum is no sleek tourist attraction, but instead a quiet, largely open-air gathering spot, with overhead fans gently cooling visitors eager to escape the sometimes oppressive midday heat. (Air-conditioning was recently installed in one room for an exhibition of Rodin watercolors from the Rodin Museum in Paris.)

 

On a recent morning, a visitor to the museum would have encountered a group of young monks sitting quietly in the corner of the lovely contemplative garden, while nearby a mother with a young child took a quick nap, and a British couple played several hands of gin rummy. Meanwhile, French tourists just off a bus busily made their way through the galleries before heading off to the next stop on their itinerary: the Silver Pagoda, a few streets away.

 

Thanks to the influence of the French, and the easily navigable grid system of wide boulevards and numbered side streets they left behind, Phnom Penh is a highly walkable city. Well, it would be if there were a few more sidewalks and if those that exist weren't crowded with parked motorbikes that make passage almost impossible at times, thrusting the unwary pedestrian out into death-defying traffic. Even the most determined of walkers will eventually give up and hire a tuk-tuk to navigate the city's neighborhoods. (Be sure to negotiate. You'll be surprised at how quickly that first price quoted you — say $4 for a trip from your hotel to the National Museum — is cut in half the moment you show any hesitancy or start looking around for another driver.)

 

No matter how you get around Phnom Penh — by foot or by tuk-tuk — you will undoubtedly end up at some point at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, commonly called the F.C.C.

 

The food here is undistinguished (at best), and the toothache-inducing fruity drinks should be passed up in favor of a cold bottle of Angkor Beer. But perhaps the best seat in Phnom Penh is one of the stools in the F.C.C.'s third-floor bar at happy hour. (Yes, happy hour seems to be a big thing here; almost every bar and restaurant in town has one.) Here, as the sun slowly sets behind you, you can watch the action below on the quay slowly shifting from day (vendors hawking their wares, young monks taking a stroll along the waterfront) to night (clubgoers ramping up the energy and noise level).

 

Sitting at the F.C.C.today, one can barely imagine what Phnom Penh was like in the 1970s, when the country was under the brutal repression of the Khmer Rouge -- a period later immortalized in the film, "The Killing Fields." But a remnant of that past can be found at Tuol Sleng, more commonly known as the genocide museum. No matter what you remember from history books or news reports, nothing can quite adequately prepare you for reality of what Cambodians lived through while under the four-year rule of Pol Pot, when nearly 2 million Cambodians (about a fourth of the country's population) were exterminated.

 

Set incongruously in a lovely residential neighborhood, the genocide museum brings you up short almost immediately with a sign warning that any loud talking or laughter is strictly forbidden. That warning seems all but superfluous as you enter the first-floor galleries and see the walls covered with black-and-white face shots of the Khmer Rouge's many victims: Most of them, boys and girls alike, are heartbreakingly young. Some, incredibly, even managed a smile for their photographer. Silence seems the only appropriate response.

 

Upstairs is another photo exhibit of some of the victims, with their life stories recounted by surviving relatives or friends. You want to turn away, but you can't, so you read about the daughter snatched from home and never heard from again, or the son whose mutilated body was found years after he had left for work in the morning. You leave, like the other visitors, somewhat dazed, and find yourself at the nearby Boddhi Tree garden cafe. It looks as if some of the other patrons have sought some post-museum refuge here: More than a few seem to have a stunned look on their faces.

 

Then, however, it's back out into the daylight, and a leisurely walk back toward the waterfront, passing the ornate homes on Street 57, the shops and cafes on 240, all buzzing with activity, the smell of grilled meat wafting toward you, a snippet of Beyoncé heard in the air.

 

This, you tell yourself, is Phnom Penh today. And you feel better.

 

VISITOR INFORMATION

 

GETTING THERE

 

Phnom Penh is easily accessible from most major cities in Southeast Asia, with several nonstop flights each day from Bangkok on Thai, Bangkok or Siem Reap Airways. United States citizens need a Cambodian visa to enter the country. Those can be purchased upon arrival at the airport for $20, but you'll need to bring a passport-size photo. The U.S. dollar is accepted for all financial transactions in Cambodia, and most prices are quoted in dollars.

 

WHERE TO STAY

 

Raffles Hotel Le Royal, 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, (855-23) 981-888; www.phnompenh.raffles.com. This elegant 78-year-old hotel, which reopened in 1997 after a major renovation, is one of Phnom Penh's prime gathering spots. On weekends, the lushly landscaped pool area is often crowded with expatriates who come to see friends, catch up on local gossip or just hang out with their children. The Elephant Bar is usually jammed as well, particularly at happy hour, and Le Royal restaurant is one of the prettiest (and most expensive) dining establishments in town. Room prices start at about $260 a night, but deep discounts — particularly on the weekend — are often available if you call the reservations desk directly. The hotel also has a business center, but communication with friends back home can be expensive: You'll be charged $1 for every e-mail message sent on the hotel's computers.

 

The Pavilion, 227 Street 19, (855-23) 222-280; www.pavilion-cambodia.com. A small, but well-appointed boutique hotel a few blocks from the Royal Palace. The lush garden is a popular place for guests to gather for an early-evening cocktail. Double rooms start at $50 a night, and the hotel offers free Wi-Fi access.

 

WHERE TO EAT

 

Friends, 215 Street 13; (855-23) 426-748; www.streetfriends.org. One of a collection of nonprofit restaurants in the city that employ young Cambodians to help them get started on a career. Among the offerings are an excellent Kkmer seafood soup with lime, and a coconut lime cake with passion fruit syrup. Main courses run about $3 to $5.

 

Boddhi Tree Umma, 50 Street 113, (855-16) 865-445; www.boddhitree.com. A pleasant garden cafe, across from Tuol Sleng. A Cambodian noodle curry costs about $2.

 

Foreign Correspondents' Club, 363 Sisowath Quay, (855-23) 724-014. Forget Cambodian (or even Asian) cuisine here: the menu runs more toward pizza, sandwiches and salads. But the real attraction is the open-air setting and the unsurpassed views of the Mekong, plus a chance to mingle with other Western tourists. Main courses $6 to $10.

 

For truly authentic Khmer cuisine, one must go to nameless little places all over town where you'll spend less than a dollar — but it might not be advisable to ask just exactly what this meat you are eating is. A more upscale (and perhaps less-adventurous) alternative is Malis, 136 Norodom Boulevard, (855-23) 221-022, highly recommended by locals for its expertly prepared contemporary and traditional Khmer cuisine served in an elegant garden setting. Dinner for two should run about $30.

in the middle: mamão verde= papaya

Dulce de leche (pronounced: [ˈdulse ðe ˈletʃe]; Portuguese: doce de leite [ˈdosi dʒi ˈlejtʃi] or [ˈdose de ˈlejte]) is a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from the caramelization of the product, changing flavor and color. Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or "candy [made] of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam" in the same way that dulce de frutilla is strawberry jam. It is popular in South America, notably in Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela. The dulce de leche of El Salvador has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. In Colombia and Venezuela it's known as "Arequipe". A Mexican version called cajeta is made from goat's milk. In the Dominican Republic it is made with equal parts milk and sugar with cinnamon, and the texture is more like fudge. In Puerto Rico dulce de leche is sometimes made with unsweetened coconut milk.

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family).

 

It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

 

The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

 

DESCRIPTION

PLANT

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.

 

FRUIT

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores (stoma) or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.

 

A full-sized coconut weighs about 1.44 kg. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a tonne of copra.

 

ROOTS

Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.

 

The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. The type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.

 

Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout its life. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that's 60 to 70 years old.

 

Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Inflorescence

 

The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Other sources use the term polygamomonoecious. The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

 

ETYMOLOGY

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor; he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. Tenga, its Malayalam and Tamil name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. Even earlier, it was called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his Topographia Christiana written about 545 AD, there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

 

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for no name is similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Tamil/Malayalam name tenga, and Canarese narle, expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

 

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish coco "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with cocar "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

 

The specific name nucifera is Latin for "nut-bearing".

Origin, domestication, and dispersal

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the plant is the subject of debate. O.F. Cook was one of the earliest modern researchers to draw conclusions about the location of origin of Cocos nucifera based on its current-day worldwide distribution. He hypothesized that the coconut originated in the Americas, based on his belief that American coconut populations predated European contact and because he considered pan-tropical distribution by ocean currents improbable. Thor Heyerdahl later used this hypothesis of the American origin of the coconut to support his theory that the Pacific Islanders originated in South America. However, more evidence exists for an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia and Malesia or the Indian Ocean. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas. Since 1978, the work on tracing the probable origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera has only recently been augmented by a publication on the germination rate of the coconut seednut and another on the importance of the coral atoll ecosystem. Briefly, the coconut originated in the coral atoll ecosystem — without human intervention — and required a thick husk and slow germination to survive and disperse.

 

DOMESTICATION

Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and it was early germination on the palm (vivipary) that was important, rather than increasing the number or size of the edible parts of a fruit that was already large enough. Human cultivation of the coconut selected, not for larger size, but for thinner husks and increased volume of endosperm, the solid “meat” or liquid “water” that provides the fruit its food value. Although these modifications for domestication would reduce the fruit’s ability to float, this ability would be irrelevant to a cultivated population.

 

Among modern C. nucifera, two major types or variants: a thick-husked, angular fruit and a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm reflect a trend of cultivation in C. nucifera: the first coconuts were of the niu kafa type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. As early human communities began to harvest coconuts for eating and planting, they (perhaps unintentionally) selected for a larger endosperm to husk ratio and a broader, spherical base, which rendered the fruit useful as a cup or bowl, thus creating the niu vai type. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. Harries’ adoption of the Polynesian terms niu kafa and niu vai has now passed into general scientific discourse, and his hypothesis is generally accepted.

 

Variants of C. nucifera are also categorized as Tall (var. typica) or Dwarf (var. nana). The two groups are genetically distinct, with the Dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. The Tall variety is outcrossing while Dwarf palms are incrossing, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the Tall group. It is believed that the Dwarf subgroup mutated from the Tall group under human selection pressure.

 

DISPERSAL

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 4,800 km, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki: "The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. However, it is more than likely that the coconut variety Heyerdahl chose for his long sea voyage was of the large, fleshy, spherical niu vai type, which Harries observed to have a significantly shorter germination type and worse buoyancy than the uncultivated niu kafa type. Therefore, Heyerdahl’s observations cannot be considered conclusive when it comes to determining the independent dispersal ability of the uncultivated coconut.

 

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. This provides some circumstantial evidence that Austronesian peoples carried coconuts across the ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) has shed light on the movements of Austronesian peoples. By examining 10 microsatellite loci, researchers found two genetically distinct subpopulations of coconut - one originating in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Pacific Ocean. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. Given that coconuts are ideally suited for ocean dispersal, individuals from one population possibly could have floated to the other. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect; however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas.

 

DISTRIBUTION

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

  

NATURAL HABITAT

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1500 mm to 2500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (70–80%+) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

 

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C, and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

 

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

 

- Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year

- Mean annual rainfall above 1000 mm

- No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

 

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

 

DISEASES

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the Maypan, has been bred for resistance to this disease.

 

PESTS

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae.

 

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the $800 million Philippine coconut industry.

 

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating: it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed; the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

 

In Kerala (India), the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 yielded no results; researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach (CAGA) to combat coconut mites.

 

PRODUCTION AND CULTIVATION

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 62 million tonnes per year (table). Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total (table).

 

CULTIVATION

Coconut trees are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation; in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated; fruit also tends to be shed.

 

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves; an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán.

 

HARVESTING

In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

 

INDIA

Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2013-14 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 92% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (31.93%), Kerala (27.54%), Karnataka (23.26%), and Andhra Pradesh (8.43%). Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list.

 

Various terms, such as copra and coir, are derived from the native Malayalam language. In Kerala, the coconut tree is called "Thengu" also termed as kalpa vriksham, which essentially means all parts of a coconut tree is useful some way or other. In Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree is called as "Thennai maram" and tender coconut is called as "Ilaneer" in the native language.

 

MALDIVES

The coconut is the national tree of the Maldives and is considered the most important plant in the country. A coconut tree is also included in the country's national emblem or coat of arms. Coconut trees are grown on all the islands. Before modern construction methods were introduced, coconut leaves were used as roofing material for many houses in the islands, while coconut timber was used to build houses and boats.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional high seas-going dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The 'know how' of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

 

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian "West Coast tall" (WC Tall) variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber.

 

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla.[52] The annual rainy season known locally as Khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

 

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. The artificial landscaping adopted in Florida may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary life styles and heavy-handed landscaping, there has been a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques.

 

SRI LANKA

An early mention of the planting of coconuts is found in the Mahavamsa during the reign of Agrabodhi II around 589 AD. Coconuts are common in the Sri Lankan diet and the main source of dietary fat.

 

UNITED STATES

In the United States coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

In Florida, Coconut palms will grow from coastal Pinellas County and St. Petersburg southwards on Florida's west coast, and Melbourne southwards on Florida's east coast. The occasional coconut palm is seen north of these areas in favoured microclimates in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as around Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on the east coast. They reach fruiting maturity, but can be damaged or killed by the occasional winter freezes in these areas. In South Texas they may also be grown in favoured microclimates around the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, and as far north as Corpus Christi , however more severe cold snaps keep them from producing viable fruit.

 

AUSTRALIA

Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales.

 

BERMUDA

Most of the tall mature coconut trees found in Bermuda were shipped to the island as seedlings on the decks of ships. In more recent years, the importation of coconuts was prohibited, therefore, a large proportion of the younger trees have been propagated from locally grown coconuts.

 

In the winter months, the growth rate of coconut trees declines due to cooler temperatures and people have commonly attributed this to the reduced yield of coconuts in comparison to tropical regions. However, whilst cooler winter temperatures may be a factor in reducing fruit production, the primary reason for the reduced yield is a lack of water. Bermuda's soil is generally very shallow (1.5 to 3 feet) and much of a coconut tree's root mass is found in the porous limestone underneath the soil. Due to the porosity of the limestone, Bermuda's coconut trees do not generally have a sufficient supply of water with which they are able to support a large number of fruit as rain water quickly drains down through the limestone layer to the water table which is far too deep for a coconut's roots to reach. This typically leads to a reduction in fruit yield (sometimes as little as one or two mature fruits) as well as a reduced milk content inside the coconut that often causes the fruit to be infertile.

 

Conversely, trees growing in close proximity to the sea almost universally yield a much greater volume of fruit as they are able to tap directly into the sea water which permeates the limestone in such areas. Not only do these trees produce a significantly higher yield, but also the fruit itself tends to be far more fertile due to the higher milk content. Trees found growing in Bermuda's marshy inland areas enjoy a similar degree of success as they are also able to tap directly into a constant supply of water.

 

EUROPE

As a tropical plant, coconut is not native to Europe, but grows in tropical territories of European countries, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal).

 

COOLER CLIMATES

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are very similar to the coconut, but much smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C and need a daily temperature above 22 °C to produce fruit.

 

USES

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".

 

COOKING

The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Some countries in South East Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor (in Indonesian) or macapuno (in Philippines) as a dessert drinks.

 

NUTRITION

Per 100 gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 grams) (table). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals, manganese, iron, phosphorus and zinc (table).

 

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

 

Per 100 gram (100 ml) serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

 

A protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation and spray drying.

 

COCONUT OIL

Another byproduct of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.

 

TODDY AND NECTAR

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as neera, also known as toddy or tuba (Philippines), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia) or karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka".

 

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 liters of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 liters.

 

HEART OF PALM AND COCONUT SPROUT

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

 

INDONESIA

Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts and soups throughout the archipelago. In the island of Sumatra, the famous Rendang, the traditional beef stew from West Sumatra, chunks of beef are cooked in coconut milk along with other spices for hours until thickened. In Jakarta, "Soto Babat" or beef tripe soup also uses coconut milk. In the island of Java, the sweet and savoury "Tempe Bacem" is made by cooking tempeh with coconut water, coconut sugar and other spices until thickened. "Klapertart" is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Celebes, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's second largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes. A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian Scouting organization. It can be seen on all the scouting paraphernalia that elementary (SMA) school children wear as well as on the scouting pins and flags.

 

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country. In the Philippines, particularly Cebu, rice is wrapped in coconut leaves for cooking and subsequent storage; these packets are called puso. Coconut milk, known as gata, and grated coconut flakes are used in the preparation of dishes such as laing, ginataan, bibingka, ube halaya, pitsi-pitsi, palitaw, buko and coconut pie. Coconut jam is made by mixing muscovado sugar with coconut milk. Coconut sport fruits are also harvested. One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut". Coconut water can be fermented to make a different product - nata de coco (coconut gel).

 

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, coconut is grown abundantly across Central and Southern Vietnam, and especially in Bến Tre Province, often called the "land of the coconut". It is used to make coconut candy, caramel, and jelly. Coconut juice and coconut milk are used, especially in Vietnam's southern style of cooking, including kho, chè and curry (cà ri).

 

INDIA

In southern India, most common way of cooking vegetables is to add grated coconut and then steam them with spices fried in oil. People from southern India also make chutney, which involves grinding the coconut with salt, chillies, and whole spices. Uruttu chammanthi (granulated chutney) is eaten with rice or kanji (rice gruel). It is also invariably the main side dish served with idli, vadai, and dosai. Coconut ground with spices is also mixed in sambar and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Dishes garnished with grated coconut are generally referred to as poduthol in North Malabar and thoran in rest of Kerala. Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk. Recently, this has been replaced with a steel or aluminium tube, which is then steamed over a pot. Coconut (Tamil: தேங்காய்) is regularly broken in the middle-class families in Tamil Nadu for food. Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses. In Karnataka sweets are prepared using coconut and dry coconut "copra"., Like Kaie Obattu, Kobri mitai etc.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Maldives Food

 

more imagesMaldives Food and Drinks

 

Food and Drinks

 

As the Maldives comprises more sea than land, it is only natural that fish (mainly tuna) have always been the most prominent element of Maldivian food. However, with travelers from different parts of the world, new seasonings and vegetables were introduced in to the country and added to the existing (limited) repertoire of seafood and tubers (e.g. taro & sweet potato). Each new discovery was incorporated into the diet in quantities most palatable to Maldivians.

 

A traditional meal consists of rice and garudhiya (fish soup), with fish, chilli, lemon and onion. Curries are also used instead of garudhiya. Fish paste known as rihaakuru is also a fine side dish. Alternately, roshi (chapati) and mas huni (made of grated coconut, fish, lemon and onions) are a popular dish. Fried yams are also widely eaten. Sweet dishes include custard, bodibaiy (rice mixed with sugar) and fruits such as bananas, mangoes and papayas.

 

Traditional dishes can still be found in the local islands during Eid, Maloodh, and other festivals and occasions such as christening of a child, marking the anniversary of a death. The traditional dishes are now less common in the Maldives as western items like bread, sandwiches, margarine, jam, noodles and pasta are introduced.

 

The resorts offer diverse international cuisine including oriental, Middle Eastern, Indian and continental ones. Most resorts have more than one restaurant to cater the needs. For light snacks and refreshments the coffee shops in the resorts are ideal.

 

Habits & Norms

 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the 3 main meals and afternoon tea with snacks a favourite past time. These days a mid-morning breakfast taken around 10 or 11 is also normal. Festival days of Eid and the Holy month of Ramadan see Maldivian kitchens become very busy.

 

Drinks

 

Most drinks in the bars and restaurants are included in the all-inclusive package, including (all by the glass only) mineral water, house wine, beer, cider, gin, vodka, rum, fruit juices (pineapple, orange, mango), and fizzy drinks (Coke, Sprite, different flavours of Fanta). If you want bottles of wine, bottles of water, cocktails, or anything else not included then you just sign for it and it goes on your bill at the end of the week As the Maldives are fairly strongly Muslim, alcohol is banned for the local population..

 

National drinks

 

Sai (tea; a Maldivian favorite).

 

Raa (toddy tapped from palm trees, sometimes left to ferment and thus slightly alcoholic - the closest any Maldivian gets to alcohol).

 

Sports Cafe

 

There's a "Sports Cafe" next to the dive centre which sells a small variety of sandwiches, salads and toasties for between US$3.50 - US$9.00, from 10am to 10pm. Also, a "Maldivian Tea House" which serves tea, coffee, toasties, and local snacks in the afternoons.

 

Fishes

 

Fish is the main item in Food of Maldives. The most favorite fish loved by all is skipjack tuna, either dried or fresh. Other favorite fishes are little tuna or ‘latti’, yellow fin tuna or ‘kanneli’, frigate tuna or ‘raagondi’, bigeye scad or ‘mushimas’, wahoo or kuruma and Mahi-mahi or fiyala. These are generally taken in boiled or processed form. The processed tuna pieces are used mainly in pieces or in shavings. The raw or the still soft processed tuna is cut into half an inch thick sections to make curries. Dry processed tuna is mainly used to make light bites called ‘gulha’, ‘kavaabu’ and ‘fatafolhi’.

 

Maldivian cuisine

 

Maldivian food revolves largely around fish (mas), in particular tuna (kandu mas), and draws heavily from the Sri Lankan and south Indian tradition, especially Kerala. Dishes are often hot, spicy and flavored with coconut, but use very few vegetables. A traditional meal consists of rice, a clear fish broth called garudhiya and side dishes of lime, chili and onions.

 

Short Eats

 

Gulha: Savoury fried fish balls in a covering of flour or rice paste. Eaten with tea.

 

Kulhi Boakibaa: Savoury rice pudding baked gently over a fire, or now, in ovens.

 

Bajiyaa: Also savoury, fried dry fish and coconut with chilly and spices in triangular shaped flour paste.

 

Foni Boakibaa: Sweet rice pudding baked as a cake.

Apricot jam, coconut flakes, poppyseed. "Innocent" smoothie oranges, carrots, mangoes

 

Part of: "res noscenda" / Krapfen # 64 Appendix // empty padded waiting time at work

 

DMC-G2 - P1550282 21.2.2013

Probably one of the best kaya toast I have had in Singapore so far, and from a place that I would never really expect.

 

For those who are unfamiliar with this delicacy, this is a very traditional/typical Singapore breakfast and sometimes snack. Kaya toast is bread toasted, then cut thin the long way and spread with kaya, which is a coconut jam, and a pat of butter. The bread is traditionally toasted over hot charcoals which makes it taste freakin' amazing. It's best taken with local coffee, called "kopi", which is coffee brewed using a traditional cotton sock. This has to be one of my most favorite things about living in Singapore, and S.E. Asia in general.

Dulce de leche (pronounced: [ˈdulse ðe ˈletʃe]; Portuguese: doce de leite [ˈdosi dʒi ˈlejtʃi] or [ˈdose de ˈlejte]) is a South American confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a substance that derives its taste from the Maillard reaction, changing flavor and color.[3] Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or "candy [made] of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam" in the same way that dulce de frutilla is strawberry jam. It is popular in Latin America, notably in Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. The dulce de leche of El Salvador has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. Mexico had versions as manjar (vanilla flavored) or cajeta which is made from goat's milk. In Cuba, dulce de leche is made from soured milk that's curdled and then sweetened. In the Dominican Republic it is made with equal parts milk and sugar with cinnamon, and the texture is more like fudge. In Puerto Rico dulce de leche is sometimes made with unsweetened coconut milk.

 

Dulce de leche is also popular in the only Hispanic country in Asia, the Philippines, where it is usually paired with cakes or breakfast rolls. As in other places, it has also found its way into other desserts such as cakes and ice cream.

 

A French version, known as confiture de lait (literally "milk jam"), is very similar to the spreadable forms of dulce de leche.

 

The Norwegian HaPå spread is a commercial variant that is thicker and less sweet. The name is an abbreviation of "Hamar" where it originally was made and "Pålegg"(spread). "Ha på" literally means "put on" as a reference to putting it on a slice of bread. HaPå originated during the Second World War when, due to the scarcity of supplies, housewives would boil Viking-melk (a type of condensed milk) to a very similar type of spread. After the war the production was commercialized and continues to this day.

 

In Russia, the same preparation, traditionally made by boiling cans of condensed milk in water bath for several hours is known as "варёная сгущёнка" ("boiled condensed milk") as long as condensed milk is known there, and was (and still is) a mainstay of home confectioners and sweet fillings. In Soviet times there was some commercial production, but at a scale insufficient to meet a demand, so most households returned to traditional at-home preparation. Since the fall of the USSR the spread (though often imitated by various starch-based concoctions) exploded in popularity and is widely commercially produced both in can form and as an ingredient and default filling in various sweets.

 

Apricot jam, coconut flakes, poppyseed. "Innocent" smoothie oranges, carrots, mangoes

 

Part of: "res noscenda" / Krapfen # 64 Appendix // empty padded waiting time at work

 

DMC-G2 - P1550276 21.2.2013

83/365 Battenberg Cake

 

Yum Yum my favourite. Very odd starting taking loads of food pictures. Sorry I think I might have a food week this week.

 

"Battenberg cake is a light sponge cake. When cut in cross section, displays a distinctive two-by-two check pattern alternately coloured pink and yellow. The cake is covered in marzipan and, when sliced, the characteristic checks are exposed to view. These coloured sections are made by dyeing half of the cake mixture pink, and half yellow, then cutting each resultant sponge into two long, uniform cuboids, and joining them together with apricot jam, to form one cake. Established variations are for coconut flavouring to the sponge cake and lemon curd or raspberry jam in place of apricot jam.

 

The cake was created in honour of the marriage in 1884 of Queen Victoria's granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg."

 

Nikon D200 - 105mm Macro f2.8

SB-600 + Strobies softbox to right.

  

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70% of my Lip Gloss/Lip Balm Collections.

 

NOT IN ORDER: but here it is I'll try to name them all: click all sizes to enlarged image.

 

1.) COVERGIRL WETSLICKS FRUIT SPRITZERS in guava

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TO BE CONTINUED...

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family).

 

It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

 

The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

 

DESCRIPTION

PLANT

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.

 

FRUIT

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores (stoma) or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.

 

A full-sized coconut weighs about 1.44 kg. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a tonne of copra.

 

ROOTS

Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.

 

The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. The type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.

 

Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout its life. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that's 60 to 70 years old.

 

Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Inflorescence

 

The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Other sources use the term polygamomonoecious. The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

 

ETYMOLOGY

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor; he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. Tenga, its Malayalam and Tamil name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. Even earlier, it was called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his Topographia Christiana written about 545 AD, there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

 

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for no name is similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Tamil/Malayalam name tenga, and Canarese narle, expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

 

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish coco "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with cocar "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

 

The specific name nucifera is Latin for "nut-bearing".

Origin, domestication, and dispersal

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the plant is the subject of debate. O.F. Cook was one of the earliest modern researchers to draw conclusions about the location of origin of Cocos nucifera based on its current-day worldwide distribution. He hypothesized that the coconut originated in the Americas, based on his belief that American coconut populations predated European contact and because he considered pan-tropical distribution by ocean currents improbable. Thor Heyerdahl later used this hypothesis of the American origin of the coconut to support his theory that the Pacific Islanders originated in South America. However, more evidence exists for an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia and Malesia or the Indian Ocean. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas. Since 1978, the work on tracing the probable origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera has only recently been augmented by a publication on the germination rate of the coconut seednut and another on the importance of the coral atoll ecosystem. Briefly, the coconut originated in the coral atoll ecosystem — without human intervention — and required a thick husk and slow germination to survive and disperse.

 

DOMESTICATION

Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and it was early germination on the palm (vivipary) that was important, rather than increasing the number or size of the edible parts of a fruit that was already large enough. Human cultivation of the coconut selected, not for larger size, but for thinner husks and increased volume of endosperm, the solid “meat” or liquid “water” that provides the fruit its food value. Although these modifications for domestication would reduce the fruit’s ability to float, this ability would be irrelevant to a cultivated population.

 

Among modern C. nucifera, two major types or variants: a thick-husked, angular fruit and a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm reflect a trend of cultivation in C. nucifera: the first coconuts were of the niu kafa type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. As early human communities began to harvest coconuts for eating and planting, they (perhaps unintentionally) selected for a larger endosperm to husk ratio and a broader, spherical base, which rendered the fruit useful as a cup or bowl, thus creating the niu vai type. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. Harries’ adoption of the Polynesian terms niu kafa and niu vai has now passed into general scientific discourse, and his hypothesis is generally accepted.

 

Variants of C. nucifera are also categorized as Tall (var. typica) or Dwarf (var. nana). The two groups are genetically distinct, with the Dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. The Tall variety is outcrossing while Dwarf palms are incrossing, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the Tall group. It is believed that the Dwarf subgroup mutated from the Tall group under human selection pressure.

 

DISPERSAL

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 4,800 km, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki: "The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. However, it is more than likely that the coconut variety Heyerdahl chose for his long sea voyage was of the large, fleshy, spherical niu vai type, which Harries observed to have a significantly shorter germination type and worse buoyancy than the uncultivated niu kafa type. Therefore, Heyerdahl’s observations cannot be considered conclusive when it comes to determining the independent dispersal ability of the uncultivated coconut.

 

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. This provides some circumstantial evidence that Austronesian peoples carried coconuts across the ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) has shed light on the movements of Austronesian peoples. By examining 10 microsatellite loci, researchers found two genetically distinct subpopulations of coconut - one originating in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Pacific Ocean. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. Given that coconuts are ideally suited for ocean dispersal, individuals from one population possibly could have floated to the other. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect; however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas.

 

DISTRIBUTION

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

  

NATURAL HABITAT

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1500 mm to 2500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (70–80%+) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

 

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C, and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

 

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

 

- Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year

- Mean annual rainfall above 1000 mm

- No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

 

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

 

DISEASES

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the Maypan, has been bred for resistance to this disease.

 

PESTS

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae.

 

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the $800 million Philippine coconut industry.

 

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating: it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed; the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

 

In Kerala (India), the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 yielded no results; researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach (CAGA) to combat coconut mites.

 

PRODUCTION AND CULTIVATION

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 62 million tonnes per year (table). Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total (table).

 

CULTIVATION

Coconut trees are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation; in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated; fruit also tends to be shed.

 

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves; an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán.

 

HARVESTING

In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

 

INDIA

Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2013-14 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 92% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (31.93%), Kerala (27.54%), Karnataka (23.26%), and Andhra Pradesh (8.43%). Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list.

 

Various terms, such as copra and coir, are derived from the native Malayalam language. In Kerala, the coconut tree is called "Thengu" also termed as kalpa vriksham, which essentially means all parts of a coconut tree is useful some way or other. In Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree is called as "Thennai maram" and tender coconut is called as "Ilaneer" in the native language.

 

MALDIVES

The coconut is the national tree of the Maldives and is considered the most important plant in the country. A coconut tree is also included in the country's national emblem or coat of arms. Coconut trees are grown on all the islands. Before modern construction methods were introduced, coconut leaves were used as roofing material for many houses in the islands, while coconut timber was used to build houses and boats.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional high seas-going dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The 'know how' of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

 

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian "West Coast tall" (WC Tall) variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber.

 

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla.[52] The annual rainy season known locally as Khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

 

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. The artificial landscaping adopted in Florida may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary life styles and heavy-handed landscaping, there has been a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques.

 

SRI LANKA

An early mention of the planting of coconuts is found in the Mahavamsa during the reign of Agrabodhi II around 589 AD. Coconuts are common in the Sri Lankan diet and the main source of dietary fat.

 

UNITED STATES

In the United States coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

In Florida, Coconut palms will grow from coastal Pinellas County and St. Petersburg southwards on Florida's west coast, and Melbourne southwards on Florida's east coast. The occasional coconut palm is seen north of these areas in favoured microclimates in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as around Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on the east coast. They reach fruiting maturity, but can be damaged or killed by the occasional winter freezes in these areas. In South Texas they may also be grown in favoured microclimates around the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, and as far north as Corpus Christi , however more severe cold snaps keep them from producing viable fruit.

 

AUSTRALIA

Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales.

 

BERMUDA

Most of the tall mature coconut trees found in Bermuda were shipped to the island as seedlings on the decks of ships. In more recent years, the importation of coconuts was prohibited, therefore, a large proportion of the younger trees have been propagated from locally grown coconuts.

 

In the winter months, the growth rate of coconut trees declines due to cooler temperatures and people have commonly attributed this to the reduced yield of coconuts in comparison to tropical regions. However, whilst cooler winter temperatures may be a factor in reducing fruit production, the primary reason for the reduced yield is a lack of water. Bermuda's soil is generally very shallow (1.5 to 3 feet) and much of a coconut tree's root mass is found in the porous limestone underneath the soil. Due to the porosity of the limestone, Bermuda's coconut trees do not generally have a sufficient supply of water with which they are able to support a large number of fruit as rain water quickly drains down through the limestone layer to the water table which is far too deep for a coconut's roots to reach. This typically leads to a reduction in fruit yield (sometimes as little as one or two mature fruits) as well as a reduced milk content inside the coconut that often causes the fruit to be infertile.

 

Conversely, trees growing in close proximity to the sea almost universally yield a much greater volume of fruit as they are able to tap directly into the sea water which permeates the limestone in such areas. Not only do these trees produce a significantly higher yield, but also the fruit itself tends to be far more fertile due to the higher milk content. Trees found growing in Bermuda's marshy inland areas enjoy a similar degree of success as they are also able to tap directly into a constant supply of water.

 

EUROPE

As a tropical plant, coconut is not native to Europe, but grows in tropical territories of European countries, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal).

 

COOLER CLIMATES

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are very similar to the coconut, but much smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C and need a daily temperature above 22 °C to produce fruit.

 

USES

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".

 

COOKING

The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Some countries in South East Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor (in Indonesian) or macapuno (in Philippines) as a dessert drinks.

 

NUTRITION

Per 100 gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 grams) (table). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals, manganese, iron, phosphorus and zinc (table).

 

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

 

Per 100 gram (100 ml) serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

 

A protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation and spray drying.

 

COCONUT OIL

Another byproduct of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.

 

TODDY AND NECTAR

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as neera, also known as toddy or tuba (Philippines), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia) or karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka".

 

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 liters of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 liters.

 

HEART OF PALM AND COCONUT SPROUT

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

 

INDONESIA

Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts and soups throughout the archipelago. In the island of Sumatra, the famous Rendang, the traditional beef stew from West Sumatra, chunks of beef are cooked in coconut milk along with other spices for hours until thickened. In Jakarta, "Soto Babat" or beef tripe soup also uses coconut milk. In the island of Java, the sweet and savoury "Tempe Bacem" is made by cooking tempeh with coconut water, coconut sugar and other spices until thickened. "Klapertart" is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Celebes, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's second largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes. A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian Scouting organization. It can be seen on all the scouting paraphernalia that elementary (SMA) school children wear as well as on the scouting pins and flags.

 

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country. In the Philippines, particularly Cebu, rice is wrapped in coconut leaves for cooking and subsequent storage; these packets are called puso. Coconut milk, known as gata, and grated coconut flakes are used in the preparation of dishes such as laing, ginataan, bibingka, ube halaya, pitsi-pitsi, palitaw, buko and coconut pie. Coconut jam is made by mixing muscovado sugar with coconut milk. Coconut sport fruits are also harvested. One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut". Coconut water can be fermented to make a different product - nata de coco (coconut gel).

 

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, coconut is grown abundantly across Central and Southern Vietnam, and especially in Bến Tre Province, often called the "land of the coconut". It is used to make coconut candy, caramel, and jelly. Coconut juice and coconut milk are used, especially in Vietnam's southern style of cooking, including kho, chè and curry (cà ri).

 

INDIA

In southern India, most common way of cooking vegetables is to add grated coconut and then steam them with spices fried in oil. People from southern India also make chutney, which involves grinding the coconut with salt, chillies, and whole spices. Uruttu chammanthi (granulated chutney) is eaten with rice or kanji (rice gruel). It is also invariably the main side dish served with idli, vadai, and dosai. Coconut ground with spices is also mixed in sambar and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Dishes garnished with grated coconut are generally referred to as poduthol in North Malabar and thoran in rest of Kerala. Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk. Recently, this has been replaced with a steel or aluminium tube, which is then steamed over a pot. Coconut (Tamil: தேங்காய்) is regularly broken in the middle-class families in Tamil Nadu for food. Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses. In Karnataka sweets are prepared using coconut and dry coconut "copra"., Like Kaie Obattu, Kobri mitai etc.

 

WIKIPEDIA

I am performing a series of glucose-based experiments. Harnessing the power of Science I plan to provide a comprehensive review of Jelly Belly's box of jellybeans.

 

Wave your mouse over the image to see the results. Due to Australian Maximum Sugar Intake laws, I cannot test the entire gamut of beans in one sitting. Having reviewed 9 so far, the world has already become a brighter and spinnier place! More reviews will be added after recovery from the imminent sugar crash.

 

Update 2008-03-03: Added "Juicy Pear", "Very Cherry", "Cappuccino", "Orange Sherbet", "Raspberry" and "Kiwi".

 

Update 2008-03-04: Added "Candy Floss", "Piña Colada", "Buttered Popcorn" and "Bubble Gum".

 

Update 2008-03-07: Added "Red Apple", "Peach", "Coconut" and "Crushed Pineapple".

 

Update 2008-03-10: Added "Cantaloupe Melon", "Strawberry Daiquiri", "Chocolate Pudding", "Plum", "Berry Blue" and "Orange".

 

Update 2008-03-12: Added "Watermelon", "Pink Grapefruit", "Strawberry Cheesecake", "Tutti-Fruitti", "Caramel Apple" and "Toasted Marshmallow".

 

Update 2008-03-12: Added "Jalapeño", "Sizzling Cinnamon", "Tangerine" and "Licorice".

 

All done!

EVERYBODY who grew up in Fifties Britain will have his or her own indelible memories of their childhood, from the first taste of welfare orange juice to the birth of rock' n’ roll. The nation was recovering from the ravages of the Second World War and the camaraderie of wartime was still evident throughout the country.

 

Children waking up on Christmas morning in 1952 had experienced rationing of food and clothes all of their lives. It was quite normal to go without the sweets, biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks that would be taken for granted by future -generations . Before sweet rationing ended in February 1953 the most prized thing in your Christmas stocking would have been a small, two-ounce bar of chocolate.

 

You probably didn’t get your first black and white television set until the late-Fifties. After all, only three million British households had one by 1954, with numbers increasing to almost 13 million by 1964.

 

But it didn’t matter if you had no television because you could play in the streets without the fear of traffic or the obstruction of parked cars. Buses and bicycles were the most popular modes of transport. In 1950 there were just under two million cars in Britain, with only 14 per cent of households owning one. The most-popular models in the Fifties included the Ford Prefect 100E and the Austin A35 saloon.

 

Many of us who grew up then have memories of houses that were draughty in winter with curtains hung behind the street door to reduce the flow of cold air and frost that formed overnight on the inside of bedroom windows.

 

Outside, the larger urban areas suffered with dense, yellowish smogs – known as pea-soupers – caused by fog combining with coalfire emissions. In 1952 a particularly thick smog shrouded London and caused the deaths of an estimated 12,000 people.

 

However, life was certainly not all doom and gloom. You grew up in a much safer environment than we can ever imagine these days. Children were able to enjoy the freedom of outdoor life. They played lots of rough-and-tumble games, got dirty and fell out of trees. The purple stains of iodine were always evident on the grazed knees of boys in short trousers.

 

We would also dress up like cowboys and Indians, wear holsters with cap guns and point and shoot at each other.

 

There was no such thing as health and safety or children’s rights. We were taught discipline at home and at school and corporal punishment was freely administered for bad behaviour.

 

There was no mugging of old ladies and people felt that it was safe to walk the streets. There was very little vandalism and no graffiti. Telephone boxes were fully glazed and each contained a set of local telephone directories and a pay-box full of pennies.

 

Youngsters respected and feared people in authority such as policemen, teachers, and park keepers, knowing that they would get a clip around the ear if they were caught misbehaving.

 

Home life was much different from today. Everyone seemed to have a gramophone, an upright piano and a valve radio in their front room and there were ticking clocks all around the house.

 

The kitchen was filled with products such as Omo washing powder and Robin starch and a whistle kettle was a permanent fixture on the kitchen stove.

 

Most adults smoked and there were ashtrays in every room, even in the bedrooms. Most homes didn’t have a bathroom so people would either wash in a tin bath by the fireside or take a weekly trip to the local municipal baths where they could pay to have a hot bath in a little more comfort. Toilets were usually outside.

 

We still managed to eat lots of wholesome food, which was always freshly cooked, and mums seemed always to be baking and though many of us didn’t have a fridge and went shopping for-groceries every day. Perishable foods were bought in small amounts just enough to last a day. It was quite usual to buy a single item of fruit.

 

On Sundays everyone had a roast dinner and leftovers were made into stews and pies to eat later in the week. In 1950, 55 per cent of young children drank tea with their meals. Bread and beef dripping was standard fare but we cringed at the sight of a curled-up Spam sandwich.

 

That was even worse than the daily spoonful of cod liver oil many of us had to consume.

 

Boys and girls played street games together, such as run outs, hopscotch and British bulldog. In the playground schoolgirls practised handstands and cartwheels with their skirts tucked up under the elastic of their navy blue knickers, while the boys played conkers.

 

We travelled in third-class compartments on train journeys to the seaside. In 1956 they were renamed second class. The change didn’t move you any higher up the social ladder but it made you feel there was a bit less of a social gap. At the seaside you wore a knitted bathing costume on the beach.

 

Do you remember Pathé News at the cinema? Going to the pictures was everyone’s favourite outing, with all those wonderful stiff-upper-lip British film stars such as John Mills, Jack Hawkins, Kenneth More and Dirk Bogarde and great war films such as The Dam Busters, epics such as Ben-Hur and comedies such as The Belles Of St Trinian’s. When the film ended everyone stood for the National Anthem and stayed until it finished playing.

 

For children the Saturday morning pictures provided the best fun. Every week, 200 to 300 unruly children would descend on a cinema for a couple of hours of film and live entertainment. The manager would regularly stop the film and threaten to send you all home if you didn’t behave and the solitary usherette was often forced to run for cover. It was controlled mayhem with the stalls and circle filled with children cheering for the goodies and booing the baddies. It introduced us to The Lone Ranger and Zorro and the slapstick comedy of Mr Pastry and Buster Keaton.

 

Dusty, old-fashioned sweetshops had high wooden counters jam-packed with boxes of ha’penny chews and other sweet delights. Remember Lucky Bags and frozen Jubblys and getting a sore tongue from sucking on gobstoppers, aniseed balls and Spangles? Then there were those old Smith’s potato crisps. The salt was in a twist of blue paper and you always had to rummage around for it at the bottom of the bag. All your one-shilling-a-week pocket money would go on sweets and comics (yes, we used old money back then, pounds, shillings and pence).

 

It was the decade of skiffle music with Lonnie Donegan and of the start of rock' n’roll with Bill Haley, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. Did you know that Cliff’s first hit Move It is credited as being the first rock'n’roll song produced outside the United States? Other British singers such as Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury and Adam Faith first came to fame in the Fifties. But while everyone now remembers rock'n’roll, in reality the record buyers were suckers for-ballads and throughout the Fifties homegrown ballad singers had -British girls swooning in the aisles.

 

I have memories of Bob-a-Job Week, as a Cub Scout, you lend a helping hand to friends and neighbours in exchange for a small payment, it ended in 1992 after concerns were raised over health and safety and child protection issues.

 

“Sex was something mysterious which happened to married couples and Homosexuality was never mentioned; my mother later told me my father did not believe it existed at all ‘until he joined the army’. As a child I was warned about talking to ‘strange men’, without any real idea what this meant. I was left to find out for myself what it was all about.”

 

It is hard to identify the Britain of today with how it was back then. The whole appearance of the country has changed, particularly in inner cities where so much building and development work has been done over the years.

 

The wartorn dilapidated houses, derelict land and bomb sites that were the forbidden playgrounds of postwar baby boomers are now long gone.

 

There was something cosy about growing up in the last decade in which most children retained their childish innocence to the age of 12 or 13 and enjoyed a carefree life full of fun and games. The stresses of adolescence and then adult life could wait. We were lucky.

 

1950s: what it was really like

 

It was an era when women stayed at home, a 9-to-5 job meant just that, workers had a job for life and nobody had a Blackberry to ruin their holidays.

 

When the Queen was crowned in 1953, food rationing was still in force, supermarkets were unheard of, and fish and chips were our undisputed national dish. How things have changed. But is our diet more healthy now than it was then?

 

Despite the challenges of rationing, family diets still contained more bread, vegetables and milk than children have today.

 

There was a succession of callers to the 1950s house. These would include the rag and bone man, a man with a horse and cart and a call of ‘any old rags’. The rag and bone man would buy your old clothes for a few pennies and mend your pots and pans when the bottoms went through.

 

The milk man came daily and delivered your milk right on to your doorstep – again he would take away the empty bottles to be washed and re-used. The local shops would also deliver your groceries, bread and meat, the delivery boys using bicycles to make their rounds. The dustbin men worked extremely hard, carrying the old metal dustbins on their backs from the householder’s back door to the cart and then returning them back.

 

Fear of Polio held a reign of terror over this nation for decades. But unless you were born before 1955, polio may seem to be just another ephemeral disease that has been nonexistent for years. Those born before 1955 remember having a great fear of this horrible disease which crippled thousands of once active, healthy children. This disease had no cure and no identified causes, which made it all the more terrifying. People did everything that they had done in the past to prevent the spread of disease, such as quarantining areas, but these tactics never seemed to work. Polio could not be contained. Many people did not have the money to care for a family member with polio.

 

I can remember the days before the internet, local radio, Sky Sports etc. The was no information on Saturday matches other than the results on the TV and radio starting at approx 4.40. (Matches finished much earlier then. They started on time; there was only 10 minutes half time; there as very little added time)

 

In those days the only match reports on the day came in the Green’un. It was delivered just after 6.00 pm and, amazingly, there would be people queuing in the shops waiting for it.

 

The reports usually had a lot of detail on the first half but next to noting on the second half. (Not surprising as the reporters had to send their reports by telephone at half time and full time)

 

The green-un and a pink-un. One printed by the Evening World and the other by the Evening Post.

 

1950s memories

 

* We walked to school, had open fires and no central heating

 

* we spent our holidays in the UK

 

* No bathroom just a tin bath

 

* The outside toilet, you wiped your rear end with newspaper

 

* Cod fish fingers produced in Great Yarmouth were introduced in Britain in 1955.

 

* Chickens were for high days and holidays only as they were very expensive.

 

* Rabbit was eaten a lot those days.

 

* Pickled beef was a favourite of our family back in the 50s. The beef would be chosen and then pickled by the butcher.

 

* cows udder served warm with brown bread and butter. Also pigs trotters cooked until the crackling and meat falls off the bone.

 

* It was always stew and dumplings on Mondays as it was wash day and it was easiest to cook and always fish on Fridays.

 

* Mums used to do their weekly baking on Saturdays.

 

* In the summer we always went blackberry picking so had plenty of jams and pies. Some families had allotments so soft fruit was available.

 

* We certainly ate dates, they were delicious.

 

* worms in apples

 

* We had our first television set in 1955

 

* Butter was also sold from a large block and the grocer would pat it into smaller blocks with wooden paddles.

 

* Very few cars, lots of buses, neighbours talking on the doorstep and helping each other and the mangle in the garden for the weekly wash.

 

* fresh fish...cockles, mussels

 

* REAL butter

 

* chicken was only eaten at Christmas

 

* no ordinary family had turkey at Christmas

 

* The Corona popman would come round on a Friday selling bottles of lemonade. You'd save up the empty bottles which were worth tuppence each.

 

* broken biscuits from Woolworth

 

* cheese cut with a wire from a large block

 

* coal delivered in heavy sacks by filthy men

 

* boxes of shredded suet.

 

* toasting bread and crumpets over a real coal fire

 

* fruit salad with Carnation milk

 

* home made rice pudding

 

* Stewed steak and Onions

 

* bread and dripping with lots of salt

 

* Meat and Potato Pie

 

* Fresh bacon cut on a slicer to the thickness of your choice

 

* Bubble and Squeak on a Monday with leftovers from Sundays roast

 

* homemade Jam in a sandwich

 

* ration books!

 

* Brylcream

 

* Sunday School

 

* Kids were still innocent and weren't trying to grow up too fast.

 

* Very few people were fat.

 

* Kids rode bikes and played outside.

 

* signs in house windows that said 'Rooms to Let: No dogs, no coloureds'.

 

* No fast food in those days, other than fish and chips!

 

* Pasta had not been invented.

 

* Curry was a surname.

 

* Olive oil was kept in the medicine cabinet

 

* Spices came from the Middle East where they were used for embalming

 

* Herbs were used to make rather dodgy medicine.

 

* A takeaway was a mathematical problem.

 

* A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.

 

* Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.

 

* The only vegetables known to us were spuds, peas, carrots and cabbage,

 

* All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.

 

* Condiments consisted of salt, pepper, vinegar and brown sauce if we were lucky.

 

* Soft drinks were called pop.

 

* Coke was something that we put on the fire.

 

* A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.

 

* Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner.

 

* A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.

 

* A Pizza Hut was an Italian shed.

 

* A microwave was something out of a science fiction movie.

 

* Brown bread was something only poor people ate.

 

* Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking

 

* Bread and jam was a treat.

 

* Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.

 

* Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle.

 

* Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.

 

* Figs and dates appeared every Christmas, but no one ever ate them.

 

* Coconuts only appeared when the fair came to town.

 

* Jellied eels were peculiar to Londoners.

 

* Salad cream was a dressing for salads, mayonnaise did not exist

 

* Hors d'oeuvre was a spelling mistake.

 

* The starter was our main meal. Soup was a main meal.

 

* Only Heinz made beans.

 

* Leftovers went in the dog.

 

* Special food for dogs and cats was unheard of.

 

* Fish was only eaten on Fridays.

 

* Fish didn't have fingers in those days.

 

* Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.

 

* Ready meals only came from the fish and chip shop.

 

* For the best taste fish and chips had to be eaten out of old newspapers.

 

* Frozen food was called ice cream.

 

* Nothing ever went off in the fridge because we never had one.

 

* Ice cream only came in one colour and one flavour.

 

* None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.

 

* Jelly and blancmange was only eaten at parties.

 

* If we said that we were on a diet, we simply got less.

 

* Healthy food consisted of anything edible.

 

* People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.

 

* Indian restaurants were only found in India .

 

* Brunch was not a meal.

 

* If we had eaten bacon lettuce and tomato in the same sandwich we would have been certified

 

* A bun was a small cake back then.

 

* The word" Barbie" was not associated with anything to do with food.

 

* Eating outside was a picnic.

 

* Cooking outside was called camping.

 

* Seaweed was not a recognised food.

 

* Pancakes were only eaten on Pancake Tuesday

 

* "Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food.

 

* Hot dogs were a type of sausage that only the Americans ate.

 

* Cornflakes had arrived from America but it was obvious they would never catch on.

 

* The phrase "boil in the bag" would have been beyond comprehension.

 

* The idea of "oven chips" would not have made any sense at all to us.

 

* The world had not heard of Pot Noodles, Instant Mash and Pop Tarts.

 

* Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.

 

* Lettuce and tomatoes in winter were only found abroad.

 

* Prunes were medicinal.

 

* Surprisingly muesli was readily available in those days, it was called cattle feed.

 

* Turkeys were definitely seasonal.

 

* Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.

 

* We never heard of Croissants and we certainly couldn't pronounce it,

 

* We thought that Baguettes were a problem the French needed to deal with.

 

* Garlic was used to ward off vampires, but never used to flavour food.

 

* Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock.

 

* Food hygiene was all about washing your hands before meals.

 

* Campylobacter, Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, and Botulism were all called "food poisoning."

 

* The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties …. elbows.

 

do you have any memories of the 1950s?

These are tradtional German Christmas cookies called "Spitzbuben" (jam filled cookies) with a little secret: the jam is passion fruit and orange jam. And the dought is base on coconut. Added some Rum for a tropic touch of these.

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

 

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in numbers since the 1980s. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali.

 

Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable. Most recently, Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013.

 

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Bali was inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.

 

In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.

 

Inscriptions from 896 and 911 don't mention a king, until 914, when Sri Kesarivarma is mentioned. They also reveal an independent Bali, with a distinct dialect, where Buddhism and Sivaism were practiced simultaneously. Mpu Sindok's great granddaughter, Mahendradatta (Gunapriyadharmapatni), married the Bali king Udayana Warmadewa (Dharmodayanavarmadeva) around 989, giving birth to Airlangga around 1001. This marriage also brought more Hinduism and Javanese culture to Bali. Princess Sakalendukirana appeared in 1098. Suradhipa reigned from 1115 to 1119, and Jayasakti from 1146 until 1150. Jayapangus appears on inscriptions between 1178 and 1181, while Adikuntiketana and his son Paramesvara in 1204.

 

Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the people developed their complex irrigation system subak to grow rice in wet-field cultivation. Some religious and cultural traditions still practised today can be traced to this period.

 

The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. The uncle of Hayam Wuruk is mentioned in the charters of 1384-86. A mass Javanese emigration occurred in the next century.

 

PORTUGUESE CONTACTS

The first known European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1512, when a Portuguese expedition led by Antonio Abreu and Francisco Serrão sighted its northern shores. It was the first expedition of a series of bi-annual fleets to the Moluccas, that throughout the 16th century usually traveled along the coasts of the Sunda Islands. Bali was also mapped in 1512, in the chart of Francisco Rodrigues, aboard the expedition. In 1585, a ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung.

 

DUTCH EAST INDIA

In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali, and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. The Dutch government expanded its control across the Indonesian archipelago during the second half of the 19th century (see Dutch East Indies). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various competing Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.

 

In June 1860 the famous Welsh naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, travelled to Bali from Singapore, landing at Buleleng on the northcoast of the island. Wallace's trip to Bali was instrumental in helping him devise his Wallace Line theory. The Wallace Line is a faunal boundary that runs through the strait between Bali and Lombok. It has been found to be a boundary between species of Asiatic origin in the east and a mixture of Australian and Asian species to the west. In his travel memoir The Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote of his experience in Bali:

 

I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.

 

The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 200 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali, a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung.

 

AFTERWARD THE DUTCH GOVERNORS

exercised administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.

 

n the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time here. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature." Western tourists began to visit the island.

 

Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. It was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains, the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops. There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer [Senur]. The island was quickly captured.

 

During the Japanese occupation, a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'. The harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule more resented than Dutch rule. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali, to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels, who now used recovered Japanese weapons. On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance.

 

INDIPENDENCE FROM THE DUTCH

In 1946, the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia, a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia, which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

 

CONTEMPORARY

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia. Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting this system. Politically, the opposition was represented by supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto.

 

The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.

 

As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency. His "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form. The resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely reduced tourism, producing much economic hardship to the island.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112 km north to south; administratively it covers 5,780 km2, or 5,577 km2 without Nusa Penida District, its population density is roughly 750 people/km2.

 

Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano rated as one of the world's most likely sites for a massive eruption within the next 100 years. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.

 

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.

 

The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre.

 

Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.

 

To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok Island and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

 

CLIMATE

Being just 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round.

 

Day time temperatures at low elevations vary between 20-33⁰ C although it can be much cooler than that in the mountains. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April and this can bring significant rain, particularly from December to March. Outside of the monsoon period, humidity is relatively low and any rain unlikely in lowland areas.

 

ECOLOGY

Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna that is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the yellow-crested cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali myna, which is endemic. Others Include barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, Java sparrow, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, sacred kingfisher, sea eagle, woodswallow, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul and great egret.

 

Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali tiger. The banteng still occurs in its domestic form, whereas leopards are found only in neighbouring Java, and the Bali tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Bali tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, whereas few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan rusa deer and the wild boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian muntjac, also occurs. Saltwater crocodiles were once present on the island, but became locally extinct sometime during the last century.

 

Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian palm civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction. They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The crab-eating macaque, known locally as "kera", is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three "monkey forest" temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area. They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands such as Bali, is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. They are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration. In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the leopard cat, Sunda pangolin and black giant squirrel.

 

Snakes include the king cobra and reticulated python. The water monitor can grow to at least 1.5 m in length and 50 kg and can move quickly.

 

The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighbouring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance hawksbill turtle, giant sunfish, giant manta ray, giant moray eel, bumphead parrotfish, hammerhead shark, reef shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina.

 

A team of scientists conducted a survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea sites around Bali. They discovered 952 species of reef fish of which 8 were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa, and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36% (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29% or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25%) with the highest coverage found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.

 

Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native.[citation needed] Among the larger trees the most common are: banyan trees, jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species. Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 metres of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.

 

From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

 

Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 litres of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar. The 300 litres capacity of water per second will be channelled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.

 

ECONOMY

Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia's wealthiest regions. In 2003, around 80% of Bali's economy was tourism related. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23%, lower than the average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan (about 5%). The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry has since recovered from these events.

 

AGRICULTURE

Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island's biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.

 

The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavours include lemon and other citrus notes. Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana". According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production. Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.

 

TOURISM

The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.

 

The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. The Swedish government issued a new warning on Sunday, 10 June 2012 because of one more tourist who was killed by methanol poisoning. Australia last issued an advice on Monday, 5 January 2015 due to new terrorist threats.

 

An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable.

 

In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings.

 

Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. In 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists, which surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists. The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65%, so the island is still able to accommodate tourists for some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.

 

Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, ranking second after Santorini, Greece.

 

In August 2010, the film Eat Pray Love was released in theatres. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, had already fuelled a boom in Eat, Pray, Love-related tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love.

 

In January 2016, after music icon David Bowie died, it was revealed that in his will, Bowie asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali, conforming to Buddhist rituals. He had visited and performed in a number of Southest Asian cities early in his career, including Bangkok and Singapore.

 

Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. Chinese tourists increased by 17% from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese tourists year on year (yoy) increased by 222.18% compared to January 2011, while Japanese tourists declined by 23.54% yoy.

 

Bali reported that it has 2.88 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists in 2012, marginally surpassing the expectations of 2.8 million foreign tourists. Forecasts for 2013 are at 3.1 million.

 

Based on Bank Indonesia survey in May 2013, 34.39 percent of tourists are upper-middle class with spending between $1,286 to $5,592 and dominated by Australia, France, China, Germany and the US with some China tourists move from low spending before to higher spending currently. While 30.26 percent are middle class with spending between $662 to $1,285.

 

SEX TOURISM

In the twentieth century the incidence of tourism specifically for sex was regularly observed in the era of mass tourism in Indonesia In Bali, prostitution is conducted by both men and women. Bali in particular is notorious for its 'Kuta Cowboys', local gigolos targeting foreign female tourists.

 

Tens of thousands of single women throng the beaches of Bali in Indonesia every year. For decades, young Balinese men have taken advantage of the louche and laid-back atmosphere to find love and lucre from female tourists—Japanese, European and Australian for the most part—who by all accounts seem perfectly happy with the arrangement.

 

By 2013, Indonesia was reportedly the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists, mostly starting in Bali but also travelling to other parts of the country. The problem in Bali was highlighted by Luh Ketut Suryani, head of Psychiatry at Udayana University, as early as 2003. Surayani warned that a low level of awareness of paedophilia in Bali had made it the target of international paedophile organisations. On 19 February 2013, government officials announced measures to combat paedophilia in Bali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus at the southernmost part of the island. Lt.Col. Wisnu Airfield is found in north-west Bali.

 

A coastal road circles the island, and three major two-lane arteries cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar. Bali has no railway lines.

 

In December 2010 the Government of Indonesia invited investors to build a new Tanah Ampo Cruise Terminal at Karangasem, Bali with a projected worth of $30 million. On 17 July 2011 the first cruise ship (Sun Princess) anchored about 400 meters away from the wharf of Tanah Ampo harbour. The current pier is only 154 meters but will eventually be extended to 300–350 meters to accommodate international cruise ships. The harbour here is safer than the existing facility at Benoa and has a scenic backdrop of east Bali mountains and green rice fields. The tender for improvement was subject to delays, and as of July 2013 the situation remained unclear with cruise line operators complaining and even refusing to use the existing facility at Tanah Ampo.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by two ministers, Bali's Governor and Indonesian Train Company to build 565 kilometres of railway along the coast around the island. As of July 2015, no details of this proposed railways have been released.

 

On 16 March 2011 (Tanjung) Benoa port received the "Best Port Welcome 2010" award from London's "Dream World Cruise Destination" magazine. Government plans to expand the role of Benoa port as export-import port to boost Bali's trade and industry sector. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has confirmed that 306 cruise liners are heading for Indonesia in 2013 – an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year.

 

In May 2011, an integrated Areal Traffic Control System (ATCS) was implemented to reduce traffic jams at four crossing points: Ngurah Rai statue, Dewa Ruci Kuta crossing, Jimbaran crossing and Sanur crossing. ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters. It has successfully been implemented in other ASEAN countries and will be implemented at other crossings in Bali.

 

On 21 December 2011 construction started on the Nusa Dua-Benoa-Ngurah Rai International Airport toll road which will also provide a special lane for motorcycles. This has been done by seven state-owned enterprises led by PT Jasa Marga with 60% of shares. PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol will construct the 9.91 kilometres toll road (totally 12.7 kilometres with access road). The construction is estimated to cost Rp.2.49 trillion ($273.9 million). The project goes through 2 kilometres of mangrove forest and through 2.3 kilometres of beach, both within 5.4 hectares area. The elevated toll road is built over the mangrove forest on 18,000 concrete pillars which occupied 2 hectares of mangroves forest. It compensated by new planting of 300,000 mangrove trees along the road. On 21 December 2011 the Dewa Ruci 450 meters underpass has also started on the busy Dewa Ruci junction near Bali Kuta Galeria with an estimated cost of Rp136 billion ($14.9 million) from the state budget. On 23 September 2013, the Bali Mandara Toll Road is opened and the Dewa Ruci Junction (Simpang Siur) underpass is opened before. Both are ease the heavy traffic congestion.

 

To solve chronic traffic problems, the province will also build a toll road connecting Serangan with Tohpati, a toll road connecting Kuta, Denpasar and Tohpati and a flyover connecting Kuta and Ngurah Rai Airport.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The population of Bali was 3,890,757 as of the 2010 Census; the latest estimate (for January 2014) is 4,225,384. There are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living in Bali.

 

ETHNIC ORIGINS

A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al. found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin. The study does not correlate the DNA samples to the Balinese caste system.

 

CASTE SYSTEM

Bali has a caste system based on the Indian Hindu model, with four castes:

 

- Sudra (Shudra) – peasants constituting close to 93% of Bali's population.

- Wesia (Vaishyas) – the caste of merchants and administrative officials

- Ksatrias (Kshatriyas) – the kingly and warrior caste

- Brahmana (Bramhin) – holy men and priests

 

RELIGION

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 83.5% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (13.3%), Christianity (1.7%), and Buddhism (0.5%). These figures do not include immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.

 

Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practised in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". This is refer to Mahabarata story that behind Bali became island of god or "pulau dewata" in Indonesian language.

 

Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, and adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Ritualizing states of self-control are a notable feature of religious expression among the people, who for this reason have become famous for their graceful and decorous behaviour.

 

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist Chinese immigrants whose traditions have melded with that of the locals. As a result, these Sino-Balinese not only embrace their original religion, which is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism, but also find a way to harmonise it with the local traditions. Hence, it is not uncommon to find local Sino-Balinese during the local temple's odalan. Moreover, Balinese Hindu priests are invited to perform rites alongside a Chinese priest in the event of the death of a Sino-Balinese. Nevertheless, the Sino-Balinese claim to embrace Buddhism for administrative purposes, such as their Identity Cards.

 

LANGUAGE

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. The most common spoken language around the tourist areas is Indonesian, as many people in the tourist sector are not solely Balinese, but migrants from Java, Lombok, Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing. Kawi and Sanskrit are also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit.

 

English and Chinese are the next most common languages (and the primary foreign languages) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the tourism industry, as well as the English-speaking community and huge Chinese-Indonesian population. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian or German are often used in multilingual signs for foreign tourists.

 

CULTURE

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese cuisine is also distinctive. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.

 

The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the day before New Year, large and colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.

 

Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Often two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other to be heard. Likewise, the audience members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.

 

Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island's largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

 

Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardised in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience.

 

Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances.

 

Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Coercive aspects of traditional society, such as customary law sanctions imposed by traditional authorities such as village councils (including "kasepekang", or shunning) have risen in importance as a consequence of the democratisation and decentralisation of Indonesia since 1998.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Dulce de leche (pronounced: [ˈdulse ðe ˈletʃe]; Portuguese: doce de leite [ˈdosi dʒi ˈlejtʃi] or [ˈdose de ˈlejte]) is a South American confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a substance that derives its taste from the Maillard reaction, changing flavor and color.[3] Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or "candy [made] of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam" in the same way that dulce de frutilla is strawberry jam. It is popular in Latin America, notably in Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. The dulce de leche of El Salvador has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. Mexico had versions as manjar (vanilla flavored) or cajeta which is made from goat's milk. In Cuba, dulce de leche is made from soured milk that's curdled and then sweetened. In the Dominican Republic it is made with equal parts milk and sugar with cinnamon, and the texture is more like fudge. In Puerto Rico dulce de leche is sometimes made with unsweetened coconut milk.

 

Dulce de leche is also popular in the only Hispanic country in Asia, the Philippines, where it is usually paired with cakes or breakfast rolls. As in other places, it has also found its way into other desserts such as cakes and ice cream.

 

A French version, known as confiture de lait (literally "milk jam"), is very similar to the spreadable forms of dulce de leche.

 

The Norwegian HaPå spread is a commercial variant that is thicker and less sweet. The name is an abbreviation of "Hamar" where it originally was made and "Pålegg"(spread). "Ha på" literally means "put on" as a reference to putting it on a slice of bread. HaPå originated during the Second World War when, due to the scarcity of supplies, housewives would boil Viking-melk (a type of condensed milk) to a very similar type of spread. After the war the production was commercialized and continues to this day.

 

In Russia, the same preparation, traditionally made by boiling cans of condensed milk in water bath for several hours is known as "варёная сгущёнка" ("boiled condensed milk") as long as condensed milk is known there, and was (and still is) a mainstay of home confectioners and sweet fillings. In Soviet times there was some commercial production, but at a scale insufficient to meet a demand, so most households returned to traditional at-home preparation. Since the fall of the USSR the spread (though often imitated by various starch-based concoctions) exploded in popularity and is widely commercially produced both in can form and as an ingredient and default filling in various sweets.

 

It started out as a trip to the B&Q Superstore in Crewe to get some path weedkiller. Somehow between aisles 1 and 50 something we found a foam sponge (badly needed), the weedkiller (very badly needed), a wash basket (useful but hardly essential as we already have three), a rubber push on shower head for washing our dog in the sink (better than putting her on the bidet) and some solar powered dragonfly outside lights (not needed at all but could be useful in a power outage). Somehow this little excursion and expedition around the superstore left my daughter demanding more. Let's get an ice-cream at Snugburys she suggested. Not knowing where Snugburys is and having no idea why we suddenly needed an ice-cream I agreed to follow the satnav once she had googled the postcode. It showed we only had 7 miles to go, passing through Crewe's grotty takeaway land and out into Cheshire's green and pleasant countryside. But turning into the entrance to Snugburys I thought, "What the.....?" It was packed and we had to park in the overflow car park in front of the farmyard. Snugburys is a farm ice-cream shop. It's website says they have had well over 200,000 visitors but I suspect that statistic may well be out of date. I estimated there were some 70-80 cars there and a queue across the farmyard to get in the shop........to buy an ice-cream!!!! People, like us, drive miles just to come and buy an ice-cream. They sell nothing else.

 

I chose two scoops. Damson and Sloe Gin, and Tropical Twist (Mango). It was huge and fantastic value at £ 2.90. No wonder the queue is out the front of the farmyard.

 

What would you have?

  

Original Vanilla

 

Vanilla is the most popular flavour in the world. Here at Snugburys it's a best seller - velvety and rich this vanilla is made from fresh vanilla bean extract grown on the island of Madagascar

  

Clotted Cream Vanilla

 

Having spent some of her childhood in Devon, Cheryl believes there is nothing to beat an ice cream with Clotted Cream, so here it is, Devon comes to Cheshire! This sumptuously smooth vanilla - made with fresh clotted cream. Perfect - with British Strawberries or fresh fruit.

  

Death by Chocolate

 

This ice cream is supreme. A fantastic rich Chocolate ice cream with a dark, deep chocolate ripple - then add drops of wonderful dark chocolate. "I think I need to come up for air!" This ice cream is fantastic - this ice cream is Snugburys.

  

Driving Me Cherries

 

A truly divine combination! Rich chocolate ice cream loaded with whole Italian Amarene cherries! With the help of our Facebook fans we named this delicious new addition to the Snugburys family - Driving me Cherries!

  

Polar Granola

   

Introducing Polar Granola, which was created in celebration of our 2011 Straw Polar Bear! This plain ice cream is laced with a raspberry ripple puree, granola pieces and rocks of white chocolate.

  

Fan-nutty-tastic

 

A great friend has been requesting this flavour for years! Delicious hazelnut ice cream laced with a rich chocolate sauce and real hazelnut pieces! We're sorry it took so long, but it is safe to say. . we've cracked it!!

  

Strawberries and Pimms

   

Created for the 2012 Queens Diamond Jubilee, this divine ice cream is laced with a smooth Pimms sorbet and a tangy British Strawberry ripple. It was such a big hit over the Jubilee weekend we decided it was a keeper!

  

Toffee Crumble

 

Caramelised bread crumbs with a homemade toffee sauce.

  

Banana Caramel

 

If you love bananas this one is for you! Rich banana ice cream with a homemade caramel sauce, scrummy!

  

Dutch Chocolate

 

Wicked! Dream on Chocolate lovers - this is dark and bitter chocolate added to sweet creamy ice cream. Loads of our customers team this with honeycomb on a cone.

  

Chocolate Brownie

 

This one is special! Snugburys homemade chocolate brownie with dark malted chocolate ice cream.

  

White Mountain

 

For all you white chocolate lovers out there -this is IT! A white chocolate ice cream loaded with tons of white chocolate pieces. I can't write any more about it, I'll have to go and get one!

  

Mint Choc Chip

 

Fresh, cool mint ice cream speckled with dark chocolate chips. We sorted through lots of chocolate chips to find the right ones, dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. They are so good its amazing they ever reach the ice cream!

  

Turkish Delight

 

Full of eastern promise? Well it tastes like it. This ice cream was a customer's suggestion and we love it. A rose water flavoured ice cream with a rich chocolate swirl.

  

Tropical Twist

 

A combination of refreshing mango sorbet and plain ice cream - this flavour really sums up summer for us!

  

Cappuccino Coffee

 

A difficult one this one! Was it to strong or not strong enough? We made batch after batch and believe we have recently perfected it; a full-bodied coffee ice cream with dark chocolate chips! The smell alone is sensational!

  

Mint Oreo Blitz

 

Double white mint ice cream, lashings of dark chocolate sauce and for the finale - bursting with Oreos.

  

Cherry Blizzard

 

A delicious white chocolate ice cream with a cherry ripple and chocolate cookie pieces. Sounds easy, but wait this was a development of our Cherry ice cream, which was SO loaded with cherries it was impossible to scoop. So we got our heads together (this is always the fun bit) and decided white chocolate ice cream (really creamy and smooth) would compliment the tart cherry ripple and then just to top it off some chocolate cookie pieces (I think we were in black forest land)!

  

Real Strawberry

 

We have fiddled with this recipe more than any other. We wanted a fresh strawberry taste - Chris was on a mission. Seven years after tweaking and readjusting this is it! We think this is one of the most difficult flavours to get right.

  

Raspberry Ripple

 

My favourite! Cool plain ice cream swirled with raspberry coulis. If you are a raspberry fan this one is for you.

  

Raspberry Pavola

 

A tricky ice cream to make (all those pips) however it is worth the effort! This wonderful raspberry ice cream (jam packed with fruit) then has a raspberry coulis ripple - then just to go overboard we have loaded in the meringues. There you have it - it's a Wow.

  

Damson and Sloe Gin

 

Last year it was a fantastic year for damsons. The trees on the farm were really heavy with fruit. We all set to making jam but really what we wanted to do make some great damson ice cream. We made pure damson ice cream which I must admit was very nice and tasted a bit like black cherry ice cream. However the breakthrough came when one of us suggested making sloe gin ice cream and making a damson ripple. Note the "one of us". We are all claiming this creation! It is superb!!!

  

Rum and Raisin

 

We are nearly drunk on the fumes when making our Rum and Raisin! The raisins are soaked in the rum overnight to make sure they are really plump then they are added to the rum ice cream, don't drink and drive.

  

Ginger and Honey

 

What a great combination of flavours! Acacia honey - not an overpowering honey flavour (as with oilseed rape honey) but a subtle honey flavour with quality pieces of ginger in every mouthful. Fabulous - on a cone or in a brandy snap-basket.

  

Amaretto

 

A big hit with the Tony Christie fans - when Amarillo was in the charts this dedadent ice cream just danced out the doors. A really flavoursome little number.

  

English Toffee

 

Wanting to create that melting, creamy toffee taste. We made English toffee ice cream. Chris, Ann and I spent a couple of wet winter afternoons tasting, mixing and cooking up the Big Toffee Taste. Great job this!

  

Honeycomb

 

Is this the most popular flavour with chunks? It is here! Rocks of honeycomb thrown into honeycomb ice cream, some melt in the ice cream and some stay as huge golden nuggets. Bliss!

  

Pecan and Fudge

 

When we decided to make this ice cream we couldn't find fudge pieces which we loved. Ok. ones were easy to find, but ok isn't good enough! So we had handmade fudge pieces made for us. These are loaded into a rich pecan ice cream - this ice cream is a must.

  

Yum Yum

 

There was no other name for this ice cream. A vanilla swirled with a special homemade liquid toffee, stuffed full of pecan nuts, chocolate chunks, biscuit bits and toffee pieces. Yum Yum!

  

Maple and Walnut

 

For the sophisticated pallet this one! Wonderful maple syrup and natural brown sugar run through with walnuts. Sweet walnuts not bitter ones - we looked hard to find sweet ones.

  

Tropical Coconut

 

Forget paradise island (actually its horrid here today and paradise island sounds quite nice). tropical coconut ice cream loaded onto a cone with Dutch chocolate, I only have to shut my eyes and I'm there!

  

Christmas Pudding

 

The inspiration for our Christmas Pudding ice cream came from the big tradition we have in our house for homemade Christmas Pudding. There is always a great discussion about the ingredients, length of time for maturing, whose recipe we will use this year, and so on. It all starts with the stout (Guinness) and the Brandy! Into this pungent mix we soak lots of brazil nuts, pecan nuts, currants, sultanas, walnuts, prunes, raisins, (freshly squeezed and zested) oranges and lemons, cherries, candied peel and spices. It's the ice cream version of our homemade Christmas pud!

  

Diabetic Vanilla and Raspberry Ripple

 

Find out more about our delicious Diabetic ice cream - here

  

Lemon Sorbet

 

Freshly squeezed and zested lemons. This sorbet is fresh!

  

Raspberry Sorbet

 

Just like a perfect summers afternoon, a fresh bowl of raspberries made into a glorious sorbet

  

Mango Sorbet

 

Beat the winter blues - get a bowl of mango sorbet, take a spoon, eat, shut your eyes and dream of a fabulous beach, palm trees and a turquoise sea, no check in no flight no delays - just pure bliss.

 

And after that, my daughter said, "Why don't we go to Beeston Castle? It's not far!" And so she googled the postcode for Beeston Castle....but then we spotted Peckforton Castle and so we went there instead. In all, our little trip to get some weedkiller lasted more than 60 miles. But the satisfaction of having that ice-cream, lasted far longer

   

Dulce de leche (pronounced: ['dulse ðe 'let?e]; Portuguese: doce de leite ['dosi d?i 'lejt?i]) is an confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from the caramelisation of the product, changing flavor and color. Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or "candy [made] of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam" in the same way that dulce de frutilla is strawberry jam. It is popular in South America, notably in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. The same goes for Chile and Ecuador where it is known as manjar (Spanish for delicacy). In Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, it is referred to as manjar blanco or arequipe, depending on regional variations. In Brazil, it is known by its Portuguese name doce de leite.

 

The dulce de leche of El Salvador has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. A Mexican version called cajeta is made from goat's milk. In the Dominican Republic it is made with equal parts milk and sugar with cinnamon, and the texture is more like fudge. In Puerto Rico dulce de leche is sometimes made with unsweetened coconut milk.

 

A French version, known as confiture de lait, is very similar to the spreadable forms of dulce de leche. A Norwegian version, Hamar-pålegg ("Hamar spread"), better known as HaPå, is a commercial variant that is thicker and less sweet.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_de_leche

I used this tiny 4-5" dia pie pan and created a chocolate GF crust (I need crust crunchy, and this is the first time I put cocoa powder into a pie crust it seems to make it too moist... I also put cocoa powder and agave syrup into egg whites for the meringue topping, with a generous toss of shredded coconut! And I made homemade chocolate pudding... Just enough height and bites to be deliciously decadent! I had thought to put a layer of this mixed berry and black current jam between the pudding and the crust, I suppose peanut butter would have been nice in there too... Oh, Yum!

. . . this are young coconuts. First you drink the fresh coconut-water with a straw through a small hole. Then the coconut is cut in the middle and you can eat the young flesh with a spoon like a soft-cream. Very tasty - very delicious - very healthy

__________________

 

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family).

 

It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

 

The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

 

DESCRIPTION

PLANT

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. Given proper care and growing conditions, coconut palms produce their first fruit in six to ten years, taking 15 – 20 years to reach peak production.

 

FRUIT

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores (stoma) or "eyes" that are clearly visible on its outside surface once the husk is removed.

 

A full-sized coconut weighs about 1.44 kg. It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to produce a tonne of copra.

 

ROOTS

Unlike some other plants, the palm tree has neither a tap root nor root hairs, but has a fibrous root system.

 

The coconut palm root system consists of an abundance of thin roots that grow outward from the plant near the surface. Only a few of the roots penetrate deep into the soil for stability. The type of root system is known as fibrous or adventitious, and is a characteristic of grass species. Other types of large trees produce a single downward-growing tap root with a number of feeder roots growing from it.

 

Coconut palms continue to produce roots from the base of the stem throughout its life. The number of roots produced depends on the age of the tree and the environment, with more than 3,600 roots possible on a tree that's 60 to 70 years old.

 

Roots are usually less than about 3 inches in diameter and uniformly thick from the tree trunk to the root tip.

Inflorescence

 

The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Other sources use the term polygamomonoecious. The female flower is much larger than the male flower. Flowering occurs continuously. Coconut palms are believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some dwarf varieties are self-pollinating.

 

ETYMOLOGY

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor; he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. Tenga, its Malayalam and Tamil name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in Itinerario by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later Hortus Indicus Malabaricus. Even earlier, it was called nux indica, a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي jawz hindī. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his Topographia Christiana written about 545 AD, there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

 

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for no name is similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Tamil/Malayalam name tenga, and Canarese narle, expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

 

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish coco "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with cocar "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called coco (also côca). The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

 

The specific name nucifera is Latin for "nut-bearing".

Origin, domestication, and dispersal

 

ORIGIN

The origin of the plant is the subject of debate. O.F. Cook was one of the earliest modern researchers to draw conclusions about the location of origin of Cocos nucifera based on its current-day worldwide distribution. He hypothesized that the coconut originated in the Americas, based on his belief that American coconut populations predated European contact and because he considered pan-tropical distribution by ocean currents improbable. Thor Heyerdahl later used this hypothesis of the American origin of the coconut to support his theory that the Pacific Islanders originated in South America. However, more evidence exists for an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia and Malesia or the Indian Ocean. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas. Since 1978, the work on tracing the probable origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera has only recently been augmented by a publication on the germination rate of the coconut seednut and another on the importance of the coral atoll ecosystem. Briefly, the coconut originated in the coral atoll ecosystem — without human intervention — and required a thick husk and slow germination to survive and disperse.

 

DOMESTICATION

Coconuts could not reach inland locations without human intervention (to carry seednuts, plant seedlings, etc.) and it was early germination on the palm (vivipary) that was important, rather than increasing the number or size of the edible parts of a fruit that was already large enough. Human cultivation of the coconut selected, not for larger size, but for thinner husks and increased volume of endosperm, the solid “meat” or liquid “water” that provides the fruit its food value. Although these modifications for domestication would reduce the fruit’s ability to float, this ability would be irrelevant to a cultivated population.

 

Among modern C. nucifera, two major types or variants: a thick-husked, angular fruit and a thin-husked, spherical fruit with a higher proportion of endosperm reflect a trend of cultivation in C. nucifera: the first coconuts were of the niu kafa type, with thick husks to protect the seed, an angular, highly ridged shape to promote buoyancy during ocean dispersal, and a pointed base that allowed fruits to dig into the sand, preventing them from being washed away during germination on a new island. As early human communities began to harvest coconuts for eating and planting, they (perhaps unintentionally) selected for a larger endosperm to husk ratio and a broader, spherical base, which rendered the fruit useful as a cup or bowl, thus creating the niu vai type. The decreased buoyancy and increased fragility of this spherical, thin-husked fruit would not matter for a species that had started to be dispersed by humans and grown in plantations. Harries’ adoption of the Polynesian terms niu kafa and niu vai has now passed into general scientific discourse, and his hypothesis is generally accepted.

 

Variants of C. nucifera are also categorized as Tall (var. typica) or Dwarf (var. nana). The two groups are genetically distinct, with the Dwarf variety showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. The Tall variety is outcrossing while Dwarf palms are incrossing, which has led to a much greater degree of genetic diversity within the Tall group. It is believed that the Dwarf subgroup mutated from the Tall group under human selection pressure.

 

DISPERSAL

It is often stated that coconuts can travel 110 days, or 4,800 km, by sea and still be able to germinate. This figure has been questioned based on the extremely small sample size that forms the basis of the paper that makes this claim. Thor Heyerdahl provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki: "The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it." He also notes that several of the nuts began to germinate by the time they had been ten weeks at sea, precluding an unassisted journey of 100 days or more. However, it is more than likely that the coconut variety Heyerdahl chose for his long sea voyage was of the large, fleshy, spherical niu vai type, which Harries observed to have a significantly shorter germination type and worse buoyancy than the uncultivated niu kafa type. Therefore, Heyerdahl’s observations cannot be considered conclusive when it comes to determining the independent dispersal ability of the uncultivated coconut.

 

Drift models based on wind and ocean currents have shown that coconuts could not have drifted across the Pacific unaided. This provides some circumstantial evidence that Austronesian peoples carried coconuts across the ocean and that they could not have dispersed worldwide without human agency. More recently, genomic analysis of cultivated coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) has shed light on the movements of Austronesian peoples. By examining 10 microsatellite loci, researchers found two genetically distinct subpopulations of coconut - one originating in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Pacific Ocean. However, admixture, the transfer of genetic material, evidently occurred between the two populations. Given that coconuts are ideally suited for ocean dispersal, individuals from one population possibly could have floated to the other. However, the locations of the admixture events are limited to Madagascar and coastal east Africa, and exclude the Seychelles. This pattern coincides with the known trade routes of Austronesian sailors. Additionally, a genetically distinct subpopulation of coconut on the Pacific coast of Latin America has undergone a genetic bottleneck resulting from a founder effect; however, its ancestral population is the Pacific coconut. This, together with their use of the South American sweet potato, suggests that Austronesian peoples may have sailed as far east as the Americas.

 

DISTRIBUTION

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.

  

NATURAL HABITAT

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1500 mm to 2500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (70–80%+) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

 

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C, and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

 

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

 

- Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year

- Mean annual rainfall above 1000 mm

- No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

 

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.

 

DISEASES

Coconuts are susceptible to the phytoplasma disease lethal yellowing. One recently selected cultivar, the Maypan, has been bred for resistance to this disease.

 

PESTS

The coconut palm is damaged by the larvae of many Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species which feed on it, including Batrachedra spp.: B. arenosella, B. atriloqua (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), B. mathesoni (feeds exclusively on C. nucifera), and B. nuciferae.

 

Brontispa longissima (coconut leaf beetle) feeds on young leaves, and damages both seedlings and mature coconut palms. In 2007, the Philippines imposed a quarantine in Metro Manila and 26 provinces to stop the spread of the pest and protect the $800 million Philippine coconut industry.

 

The fruit may also be damaged by eriophyid coconut mites (Eriophyes guerreronis). This mite infests coconut plantations, and is devastating: it can destroy up to 90% of coconut production. The immature seeds are infested and desapped by larvae staying in the portion covered by the perianth of the immature seed; the seeds then drop off or survive deformed. Spraying with wettable sulfur 0.4% or with neem-based pesticides can give some relief, but is cumbersome and labor-intensive.

 

In Kerala (India), the main coconut pests are the coconut mite, the rhinoceros beetle, the red palm weevil and the coconut leaf caterpillar. Research into countermeasures to these pests has as of 2009 yielded no results; researchers from the Kerala Agricultural University and the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode continue to work on countermeasures. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University has developed an innovative extension approach called the compact area group approach (CAGA) to combat coconut mites.

 

PRODUCTION AND CULTIVATION

Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 62 million tonnes per year (table). Most of the world production is in tropical Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and India accounting collectively for 73% of the world total (table).

 

CULTIVATION

Coconut trees are hard to establish in dry climates, and cannot grow there without frequent irrigation; in drought conditions, the new leaves do not open well, and older leaves may become desiccated; fruit also tends to be shed.

 

The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves; an example of such damage to an ecoregion is in the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán.

 

HARVESTING

In some parts of the world (Thailand and Malaysia), trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.

 

INDIA

Traditional areas of coconut cultivation in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. As per 2013-14 statistics from Coconut Development Board of Government of India, four southern states combined account for almost 92% of the total production in the country: Tamil Nadu (31.93%), Kerala (27.54%), Karnataka (23.26%), and Andhra Pradesh (8.43%). Other states, such as Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and those in the northeast (Tripura and Assam) account for the remaining productions. Though Kerala has the largest number of coconut trees, in terms of production per hectare, Tamil Nadu leads all other states. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore and Tirupur regions top the production list.

 

Various terms, such as copra and coir, are derived from the native Malayalam language. In Kerala, the coconut tree is called "Thengu" also termed as kalpa vriksham, which essentially means all parts of a coconut tree is useful some way or other. In Tamil Nadu, a coconut tree is called as "Thennai maram" and tender coconut is called as "Ilaneer" in the native language.

 

MALDIVES

The coconut is the national tree of the Maldives and is considered the most important plant in the country. A coconut tree is also included in the country's national emblem or coat of arms. Coconut trees are grown on all the islands. Before modern construction methods were introduced, coconut leaves were used as roofing material for many houses in the islands, while coconut timber was used to build houses and boats.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The main coconut-producing area in the Middle East is the Dhofar region of Oman, but they can be grown all along the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts, because these seas are tropical and provide enough humidity (through seawater evaporation) for coconut trees to grow. The young coconut plants need to be nursed and irrigated with drip pipes until they are old enough (stem bulb development) to be irrigated with brackish water or seawater alone, after which they can be replanted on the beaches. In particular, the area around Salalah maintains large coconut plantations similar to those found across the Arabian Sea in Kerala. The reasons why coconut are cultivated only in Yemen's Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates and in the Sultanate of Oman, but not in other suitable areas in the Arabian Peninsula, may originate from the fact that Oman and Hadramaut had long dhow trade relations with Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Africa and Zanzibar, as well as southern India and China. Omani people needed the coir rope from the coconut fiber to stitch together their traditional high seas-going dhow vessels in which nails were never used. The 'know how' of coconut cultivation and necessary soil fixation and irrigation may have found its way into Omani, Hadrami and Al-Mahra culture by people who returned from those overseas areas.

 

The coconut cultivars grown in Oman are generally of the drought-resistant Indian "West Coast tall" (WC Tall) variety. Unlike the UAE, which grows mostly non-native dwarf or hybrid coconut cultivars imported from Florida for ornamental purposes, the slender, tall Omani coconut cultivars are relatively well-adapted to the Middle East's hot dry seasons, but need longer to reach maturity. The Middle East's hot, dry climate favors the development of coconut mites, which cause immature seed dropping and may cause brownish-gray discoloration on the coconut's outer green fiber.

 

The ancient coconut groves of Dhofar were mentioned by the medieval Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta in his writings, known as Al Rihla.[52] The annual rainy season known locally as Khareef or monsoon makes coconut cultivation easy on the Arabian east coast.

 

Coconut trees also are increasingly grown for decorative purposes along the coasts of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with the help of irrigation. The UAE has, however, imposed strict laws on mature coconut tree imports from other countries to reduce the spread of pests to other native palm trees, as the mixing of date and coconut trees poses a risk of cross-species palm pests, such as rhinoceros beetles and red palm weevils. The artificial landscaping adopted in Florida may have been the cause for lethal yellowing, a viral coconut palm disease that leads to the death of the tree. It is spread by host insects, that thrive on heavy turf grasses. Therefore, heavy turf grass environments (beach resorts and golf courses) also pose a major threat to local coconut trees. Traditionally, dessert banana plants and local wild beach flora such as Scaevola taccada and Ipomoea pes-caprae were used as humidity-supplying green undergrowth for coconut trees, mixed with sea almond and sea hibiscus. Due to growing sedentary life styles and heavy-handed landscaping, there has been a decline in these traditional farming and soil-fixing techniques.

 

SRI LANKA

An early mention of the planting of coconuts is found in the Mahavamsa during the reign of Agrabodhi II around 589 AD. Coconuts are common in the Sri Lankan diet and the main source of dietary fat.

 

UNITED STATES

In the United States coconut palms can be grown and reproduced outdoors without irrigation in Hawaii, southern and central Florida, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

In Florida, Coconut palms will grow from coastal Pinellas County and St. Petersburg southwards on Florida's west coast, and Melbourne southwards on Florida's east coast. The occasional coconut palm is seen north of these areas in favoured microclimates in Tampa and Clearwater, as well as around Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on the east coast. They reach fruiting maturity, but can be damaged or killed by the occasional winter freezes in these areas. In South Texas they may also be grown in favoured microclimates around the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, and as far north as Corpus Christi , however more severe cold snaps keep them from producing viable fruit.

 

AUSTRALIA

Coconuts are commonly grown around the northern coast of Australia, and in some warmer parts of New South Wales.

 

BERMUDA

Most of the tall mature coconut trees found in Bermuda were shipped to the island as seedlings on the decks of ships. In more recent years, the importation of coconuts was prohibited, therefore, a large proportion of the younger trees have been propagated from locally grown coconuts.

 

In the winter months, the growth rate of coconut trees declines due to cooler temperatures and people have commonly attributed this to the reduced yield of coconuts in comparison to tropical regions. However, whilst cooler winter temperatures may be a factor in reducing fruit production, the primary reason for the reduced yield is a lack of water. Bermuda's soil is generally very shallow (1.5 to 3 feet) and much of a coconut tree's root mass is found in the porous limestone underneath the soil. Due to the porosity of the limestone, Bermuda's coconut trees do not generally have a sufficient supply of water with which they are able to support a large number of fruit as rain water quickly drains down through the limestone layer to the water table which is far too deep for a coconut's roots to reach. This typically leads to a reduction in fruit yield (sometimes as little as one or two mature fruits) as well as a reduced milk content inside the coconut that often causes the fruit to be infertile.

 

Conversely, trees growing in close proximity to the sea almost universally yield a much greater volume of fruit as they are able to tap directly into the sea water which permeates the limestone in such areas. Not only do these trees produce a significantly higher yield, but also the fruit itself tends to be far more fertile due to the higher milk content. Trees found growing in Bermuda's marshy inland areas enjoy a similar degree of success as they are also able to tap directly into a constant supply of water.

 

EUROPE

As a tropical plant, coconut is not native to Europe, but grows in tropical territories of European countries, such as Martinique and Guadeloupe (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal).

 

COOLER CLIMATES

In cooler climates (but not less than USDA Zone 9), a similar palm, the queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), is used in landscaping. Its fruits are very similar to the coconut, but much smaller. The queen palm was originally classified in the genus Cocos along with the coconut, but was later reclassified in Syagrus. A recently discovered palm, Beccariophoenix alfredii from Madagascar, is nearly identical to the coconut, more so than the queen palm and can also be grown in slightly cooler climates than the coconut palm. Coconuts can only be grown in temperatures above 18 °C and need a daily temperature above 22 °C to produce fruit.

 

USES

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha ("the tree which provides all the necessities of life"). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna ("the tree of a thousand uses"). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".

 

COOKING

The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Some countries in South East Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor (in Indonesian) or macapuno (in Philippines) as a dessert drinks.

 

NUTRITION

Per 100 gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 grams) (table). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals, manganese, iron, phosphorus and zinc (table).

 

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. Later, the endosperm matures and deposits onto the coconut rind during the cellular phase. It is consumed throughout the humid tropics, and has been introduced into the retail market as a processed sports drink. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young, immature coconuts, barring spoilage. Coconut water can be fermented to produce coconut vinegar.

 

Per 100 gram (100 ml) serving, coconut water contains 19 calories and no significant content of essential nutrients.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained primarily by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a total fat content of 24%, most of which (89%) is saturated fat, with lauric acid as a major fatty acid. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

 

A protein-rich powder can be processed from coconut milk following centrifugation, separation and spray drying.

 

COCONUT OIL

Another byproduct of the coconut is coconut oil. It is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying. It can be used in liquid form as would other vegetable oils, or in solid form as would butter or lard.

 

TODDY AND NECTAR

The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as neera, also known as toddy or tuba (Philippines), tuak (Indonesia and Malaysia) or karewe (fresh and not fermented, collected twice a day, for breakfast and dinner) in Kiribati. When left to ferment on its own, it becomes palm wine. Palm wine is distilled to produce arrack. In the Philippines, this alcoholic drink is called lambanog or "coconut vodka".

 

The sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy such as te kamamai in Kiribati or dhiyaa hakuru and addu bondi in the Maldives. It can be reduced further to yield coconut sugar also referred to as palm sugar or jaggery. A young, well-maintained tree can produce around 300 liters of toddy per year, while a 40-year-old tree may yield around 400 liters.

 

HEART OF PALM AND COCONUT SPROUT

Apical buds of adult plants are edible, and are known as "palm cabbage" or heart of palm. They are considered a rare delicacy, as harvesting the buds kills the palms. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad". Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

 

INDONESIA

Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cooking. Coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts and soups throughout the archipelago. In the island of Sumatra, the famous Rendang, the traditional beef stew from West Sumatra, chunks of beef are cooked in coconut milk along with other spices for hours until thickened. In Jakarta, "Soto Babat" or beef tripe soup also uses coconut milk. In the island of Java, the sweet and savoury "Tempe Bacem" is made by cooking tempeh with coconut water, coconut sugar and other spices until thickened. "Klapertart" is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Celebes, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk. In 2010, Indonesia increased its coconut production. It is now the world's second largest producer of coconuts. The gross production was 15 million tonnes. A sprouting coconut seed is the logo for Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the Indonesian Scouting organization. It can be seen on all the scouting paraphernalia that elementary (SMA) school children wear as well as on the scouting pins and flags.

 

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconuts; the production of coconuts plays an important role in the economy. Coconuts in the Philippines are usually used in making main dishes, refreshments and desserts. Coconut juice is also a popular drink in the country. In the Philippines, particularly Cebu, rice is wrapped in coconut leaves for cooking and subsequent storage; these packets are called puso. Coconut milk, known as gata, and grated coconut flakes are used in the preparation of dishes such as laing, ginataan, bibingka, ube halaya, pitsi-pitsi, palitaw, buko and coconut pie. Coconut jam is made by mixing muscovado sugar with coconut milk. Coconut sport fruits are also harvested. One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut". Coconut water can be fermented to make a different product - nata de coco (coconut gel).

 

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, coconut is grown abundantly across Central and Southern Vietnam, and especially in Bến Tre Province, often called the "land of the coconut". It is used to make coconut candy, caramel, and jelly. Coconut juice and coconut milk are used, especially in Vietnam's southern style of cooking, including kho, chè and curry (cà ri).

 

INDIA

In southern India, most common way of cooking vegetables is to add grated coconut and then steam them with spices fried in oil. People from southern India also make chutney, which involves grinding the coconut with salt, chillies, and whole spices. Uruttu chammanthi (granulated chutney) is eaten with rice or kanji (rice gruel). It is also invariably the main side dish served with idli, vadai, and dosai. Coconut ground with spices is also mixed in sambar and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Dishes garnished with grated coconut are generally referred to as poduthol in North Malabar and thoran in rest of Kerala. Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk. Recently, this has been replaced with a steel or aluminium tube, which is then steamed over a pot. Coconut (Tamil: தேங்காய்) is regularly broken in the middle-class families in Tamil Nadu for food. Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses. In Karnataka sweets are prepared using coconut and dry coconut "copra"., Like Kaie Obattu, Kobri mitai etc.

 

WIKIPEDIA