he put the lime in the coconut, but he had to use a machete.
One of the many benefits of living down here is the fresh fruits. Now when I say fresh fruits, I mean step outside go to the tree in your front yard and pick it off the tree fresh. This is a very new concept to us. Currently we have fresh coconuts and lime growing right outside our front door. The great part of that is that we use limes for cooking and in every glass of Pepsi light that we drink. Unfortunately, they make the Pepsi Light taste so good that we drink way more than we should.
A new treat for us is the fresh coconut. First of all, if you have never picked a coconut off a tree, there are a couple of things you should be aware of, namely bees and biting ants. Further, you want to pick them before they turn yellow. The easy part is getting them off the tree. Once down then the outer shell must be removed, or at least an access point made. This is easier said than done, at least right now it is for us. We are learning the best ways to go about it, but have definitely not yet mastered the art. One method is to throw it against an edge or rock or something several times until the outer shell cracks. Primitive, yet effective. Another method is to take a large knife,cleaver or the local way – a machete, and hack away until you reach the inner shell. The problem we run into with this is that at times we accidentally chop into the inner nut and lose some of the precious cargo. A better option is to chop off just the top area, and the drill into nut and stick a straw in to get at the juice. This seems to be the most popular method, and coconuts are often sold on the street this way. Is it worth all the trouble? You Bet! I used to not be a coconut guy, now I am a huge fan! It is extremely refreshing in the hot day sun, and considered a treat.
If you come down to visit, we’ll pick one for you and you be the judge. At the very least you will work up a sweat getting to the nectar, and perhaps that makes it taste even better. In the video below you will see our favorite guard demonstrating his method of accessing the coconut milk, which is more like water and the newest fitness craze drink.
Hopefully, the longer we stay here the more new and exciting things we will see, experience and do. In the fruit category we have already done some of that as seen above, but we really stepped out and tried something way off the radar known locally as the mamon chino. When you first see it, you won’t want to touch because it looks like it has all the qualities of something that is poisonous. It is bright red, about the size of a golf ball and covered in what appear to be extra long, wavy, black tipped cactus thorns; Almost like a mini red puffer fish. However when you pick it up you find that the spikes are actually soft, that takes the first level of intimidation away.
Next, you have to figure out what to eat, and naturally it has to be inside the unique exterior. So you crack the shell open hoping for something inviting, something familiar and yummy looking. Instead you see a white gelatin mass exactly like an eyeball without the pupil. Not appetizing at all. Naturally you bring it up to your nose and you can smell that it does not smell like and eyeball, it actually smells very sweet not unlike Tang. That gives you just enough courage to pop it into your mouth, at least it did for me. You close your eyes and down the hatch, no bites just all in. Immediately you know you made the right choice. It is sweet, tangy, slightly tart, juicy and delicious. It is difficult to chew the white part off, so you just eat it like you would a Gobstopper, until you get to the pit inside. If you have ever peeled a grape and popped it into your mouth, you would get a similar effect in 1/4 the size. A great snack for the road, beach, or just to keep around the house. The are sold in bunches in the store and at the street vendors. They are very cheap, and very popular and now we know why. The classic “you can’t judge a book by its cover”. I just think it would be a lot more fun if I had to use a machete to open them, and if they had a big black dot on them so they really looked like a moose eyeball.