Information about Fruits: Coconuts

About coconuts, information about the fruit, production, history and varieties in the world.

FRUITS OF THE EARTH

Coconut

Most of the world's production is on small plantations. The Philippines and Indonesia lead in producing copra (white meat of the coconut that has been dried), the most important export of the Southwest Pacific. The name comes from the Portuguese coco meaning grimace, because it resembles a grinning face. The coconut is a staple in many tropical areas and the tree is so useful it has inspired this South Sea proverb: "He who plants a coconut tree plants food and drink, vessels and clothing, a habitation for himself and a heritage for his children." The coconut meat is eaten raw or dried; the oil is made into soap and used for cooking. The sap of the tree is fermented to make an alcoholic beverage, the fiber from the husk of the fruit makes rope and twine, and various parts of the tree are used for building houses. Pick a coconut with lots of liquid in it when you shake it. To drink the juice, puncture one of the indented spots on the shell. To separate the meat from the shell, tap the coconut with a hammer.

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