We left you all hanging a month ago...as I handed back a coconut to the vendor...with a promise of more to come.
This time, with a mighty chop of his machete, he split the coconut right down the middle, and tore it into two with his hands. And then, with another slightly more delicate cut he sliced off a fan-shaped section of shell. After that he handed all the bits back to me.
This is the fun part of drinking a coconut. You use the small section of shell to scrape off the lining on the inside of the nut. This changes as the coconut ages. It starts off a thin film of jelly on the interior of the shell, but gradually as the liquid in the coconut dries out this hardens into a white flesh, first springy and then eventually into dry coconut – the sort used in confectionery or roasted to make coconut chips.
It was the reason that I had asked for a nut that was not too young. The lining on this nut was a quarter of an inch thick and it was just becoming firm. The fan-shaped slice slid under the layer of flesh perfectly, bringing it up in rinds as slippery and uncontrollable as small white fish. Eventually I managed to stuff them into my mouth.
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