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Coconuts and more Coconuts

October 14, 2006

wedding-photos-004.jpg The food served at the resort was top notch, and copious in nature.  On Friday morning, we had devoured 2 heaping plates of breakfast items including omelets, bacon, sausage, french toast, fresh fruit of all varieties, and various plantains and potatoes.  We were stuffed, and were making our way up to our room to change into our bathing suits for our first day on the beach when we noticed some of our friends talking to a grounds-keeping crew who were gathering bowling ball sized coconuts and palm fronds that had fallen from the trees overnight.  Leslie’s instinct and advice was just to move on, and her gut probably was right.  But, I waved and called out, and soon was invited by the group to come over.  We obliged.  The locals quickly grabbed a giant coconut and hacked away the top and some of the shell to open it for us with a machete.  Next, they passed the coconut to us and everyone urged us to drink.   We obliged.  The coconut juice was clear, thin, and sweet, and very unlike the coconuts we have around here in the US.  I was told this was a ‘French Coconut”.  Ok, now what?  This thing was huge and we were stuffed from breakfast, but the local custom seemed to be to drink all of it.  Leslie and I wandered around the garden taking turns drinking from the coconut as the locals continued to watch us.  I probed the volume of the coconut with a finger and realized that the internal cavity was vast and this thing contained more than a “big gulp” style drink from the local quickee mart.   After a while,  the groundskeepers stopped by and told us that after we finished drinking, that they would hack it open so that we could sample the coconut meat inside.  Oh boy, now were really committed to finishing this thing.  We drank and drank, and spilled a little here and there like guests at a party trying to ditch a bad cocktail.  Finally it was empty, and the locals split it open for us, and artfully chopped off an oblong piece of smooth husk they presented to us as a spoon.  The meat was smooth and rubbery and about 3/8″ thick, but had a good taste.  We finished one half of the coconut and passed the other half back to the locals with a smile and our thanks and made our escape amidst their good natured smiles and laughter.  I’m sure they have cured other visitor’s curiosity in similar fashion.

Later in the week, we were experiencing the fivestar dining in the resorts exclusive restaurant which you could only frequent once every three days, when Leslie ordered the chilled watermelon soup.  I favored the roasted tomato, which turned out the be the best tomato soup I’ve ever had!  Anyway, just when we thought we’d seen our last giant coconut up close and personal, the waiter rolls up with another of these giant marvels on a platter.  The coconut was split neatly around the equator, and the waiter removed the top with a bit of flourish to present the watermelon soup.

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