Coconuts are my new favorite all-purpose fauna. Sure, I’ve always been a fan of coconut milk in my curry, and flakes in my cookies. But now I really appreciate how totally rad these tropical balls truly are. They’re like free, tasty mini-survival packs scattered within easy reach. If you’re thirsty, you grab a green one, bash off the stem with a rock, poke a stick in it, and voila: a liter of vitamin-rich water in a compact carrying case.
Hungry? Find a brown coconut in a tree or on the ground (just make sure it doesn’t have any holes that indicate a rat beat you to it). Slice through the dry outer husk and shuck it off, peeling away the fibers to reveal the hard nut inside. Poke a hole in one of the three circular seed indents, drink out what’s left of the water, smash the shell on a rock to divide it in half and voila: fatty, vitamin-rich white meat that satisfies your belly and makes your hair and skin shiny from the inside out.
We don’t even take water bottles hiking anymore. And at the occasional cruisers’ potluck on shore, Rob just shucks a few coconuts and chips out chunks of sweet white meat for everyone’s dessert. They store really well for passages, too. We put one in the fridge each day to have a cold drink, and used the meat shavings to liven up cookies or pancakes. We’ve also started making our own coconut milk for curry dinners by pouring boiling water through the shavings.
And then there’s the dried-out shells: Rob has a sweet new bowl that holds his above-average servings of food. I have a new bra that definitely covers my below-average serving of breasts. We both have things to bang together to make percussive noises when playing music.
The other day, a fellow cruiser asked for some help opening some brown coconuts he’d pulled out of the ocean. Rob handily shucked a few on shore. Later, the German sailor told a few others in his halting English, “That American boy is good at killing the coconuts. He must have killed a lot of them.” Indeed he has.
To recap: coconuts are the perfect fruit. Visit a tropical island near you soon to experience their full range of utility, simplicity, and overall awesomeness.