There is so much food growing all around us here in A.S. that self sustainability wouldn't be difficult at all. I realize how unique these foods are and want to start to share what we are learning. Technically this could be Part 2 since we made the lemon grass tea/cleaner. This first topic is an obvious one.... coconuts!
These are coconut trees, I only state the obvious to clarify that they are not palm trees. We were guilty of incorrectly calling them palm trees when we arrived and I know many other people make the same mistake. The trees in the picture below are palm trees.... I didn't have a pic so I just ran out and took this on a not so nice day here is A.S. If you have ever eaten hearts of palm, that comes from the center of a young palm tree, but I haven't seen it sold/eaten here yet.
Coconut trees are everywhere here and coconut/coconut cream is found in most meals. You can grab a young coconut off the tree and chop the top off for drinking. Off the tree, they are yellow or green and bigger than anything you see in the stores since the husk is still intact. Most people here wait until the coconuts are slightly older and the inner shell has become harder. The slightly older coconuts, which are also for drinking, are husked and then look like the "typical" round brown coconut (these commonly appear on our dinner table as seen below ). If they are too old they taste a little bit acidic, but it won't hurt you. I have not yet put the lime in the coconut, but have written this post I may have to....
So that covers coconut water, but if its the meat and cream you're after then the coconut must be even older to allow the meat on the inside to build up. The old coconuts are husked and then cracked in half, usually with a machete. Once the coconut is open, the locals use a little stool with a metal spiked half circle thingy (that's the technical term) to scrap the meat out. They can scrape out a whole coconut in no-time, it's pretty impressive.
Once all the meat is scrapped out it can be used for eating/cooking or it can be squeezed to make coconut milk/cream. Traditionally Samoans would use the fibrous husks to squeeze the coconut shreds, but nowadays just a cloth will do. They squeeze the heck out the meat and all the milk runs out, usually the squeezed "meat" is just thrown away.
The Jaskowiak Family
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