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A little hide-away in the heart of the Indian Ocean...



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Coconuts at Cerf beach resort - information, history and facts...

Seychelles being a tropical paradise, Cerf Island is a glorious piece of those beautiful islands and the coconut palm tree is typicaly found on this island.

history of coconut, Cerf beach resort, Seychelles and some fun facts

HISTORY
Coconut palms feature in Indian writings dating back more than 2,000 years.

The coconut is featured in early Sanskrit writings dating from the 4th century BC. The palms are also frequently mentioned in early Tamil literature dating from between the 1st century AD to the 4th century AD.

Coconuts feature in the Hindu epic stories the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and in the Puranas. It seems to have been adopted quite late into Aryan rituals, and northern India may have become familiar with the nut long after it was used in the coastal south.

Today, India is the third largest producer of coconuts in the world, with the state of Kerala leading the production followed by the other southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Coconut plays an important role in Indian ritual and features in Indian mythology, for it resembles a human head with three marks on its shell like eyes and a mouth, and fibre like hair. It was known as sriphala or the fruit of the gods and cutting the tree was abhorred.


ORIGINS
The coconut is the most familiar palm of the tropics, yet until recently its origin was hotly disputed. The origin of the coconut is virtually unknown. It is now thought to come from the western Pacific and spread via human activity and ocean currents to most of the topics. Today it is a domesticated plant and has become an essential resource for food, shelter, fuel and tools. South Asia is no exception, and coconuts feature in everyday life, particularly in south India.


The coconut became known to the western world in the 6th century. It was imported into Egypt from the Indian Ocean. Marco Polo recognized the coconut as the "Pharoah's nut" as he traveled through India.


The coconut and its relatives in other languages derived from Spanish or Portuguese origin. It was described as coco, which means "spectre, goblin" or "grinning face". There are three holes on the coconut, which makes it appearance resemble an eerie or pop-eyed merry face. The botanical name for the coconut is cocos nucifera with nucifera meaning "bearing nuts".


The liquid found in the seed of the coconut is not milk. Coconut milk has to be made. It is made by combining hot water with fresh grated or packaged unsweetened coconut. The result is a milky-white substance with a sweet taste.

BE CAREFUL!
In a place where the midday sun is right above you will naturally seek shadow, yes? Don't try this at the Seychelles without a second look up in the treetops: coconuts?

If you do make the mistake of not looking above and skip off your towel for a cooling swim, you may find when you return,  a newly fallen coconut cratering the towel where your head had rested 5 minutes earlier...

 

This has in fact happened to someone who parked at Port Launay Marine National Park near La Plaine because of overhanging coconuts, and sure enough, a minute after they had changed parking spot the first nut smashed to the ground with a resounding "thump!". Right where they had first parked. Watch it!


SOMETHING TO DO:
Buy a coconut the next time you go to the grocery store. Put holes in the top and pour out the coconut milk. Now take a hammer and crack the coconut open. Use a spoon to get the rich coconut out of the shell. Grate it on a grater. It is delicious. Eat it plain or make the recipe below.

BUSY HONEYBEES

Cooking tools

* measuring cups
* mixing bowl
* waxed paper
* toothpicks
* measuring spoons
* wooden spoons
* cookie sheet

Ingredients

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 tablespoons coconut
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
TOPPINGS:

melted carob chips sliced almonds

Directions

1. Mix the peanut butter and honey in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the milk powder and stir together.
3. Add 2 tablespoons coconut and 2 tablespoons wheat germ and stir.
4. Tear off a piece of waxed paper, and lay it on a cookie sheet.
5. Spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet, and spread it out.
6. Form the dough into the shape of a bee.
7. Melt some carob chips in the microwave.
8. Dip a toothpick into the carob; make eyes and stripes on the bee's back.
9. Put one almond slice on each side to look like the wings.
10. Chill about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Makes about 28 busy bees

 




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