COCONUTS – A STAPLE IN BARBADOS

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COCONUTS – A STAPLE IN BARBADOS

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Fancy a coconut?  If you longingly imagine a machete-wielding vendor on the roadside presenting you with an expertly cut shell, which serves as a natural cup for coconut juice drunk with a straw, you are not necessarily a visitor but quite possibly a Barbadian.   The novel presentation appeals to both visitors and locals and the coconut water, perfect for quenching thirst and pleasingly low in calories, also appeals to both groups.  The coconut water has other merits as well.  It helps deal with problems of the kidney and bladder of concern to all.

Coconut water is not the only gift of the coconut.  Coconut jelly, when grated, makes an excellent ingredient in coconut bread, sugar cakes and ice cream, served in hotels and homes alike, and is also a great treat when eaten, scooped out straight from the coconut.   But it is coconut oil which is famous for its multitude of uses; indeed, it is the master multi-tasker of all vegetable oils.  It arms against infections and is good for the immune system    Known as a source of Vitamin E, it is an elixir for youth, and also assists in reducing weight, dissolving kidney stones, controlling blood sugar and protecting against tooth decay.   It can also help in healing scratches, cuts, burns and  – visitors, hear this – sunburns.  It is wonderful for the hair and skin and is therefore used in facials.  That is not all.  Coconut oil is also a valued ingredient in cosmetics, soaps, detergents and manufactured cooking oils.   As for the coconut shell, it is used formats, ornaments, decorations for culinary dishes in hotels and clothes for dolls sold by vendors. Unfortunately, it is impossible to list all the properties and uses of the coconut, but this has been an attempt,  To top it all off, we invite you to don a hat of coconut leaves and enjoy your holiday on this tropical, paradisiacal island where coconut trees are so plentiful.