The Flaming Vegan

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Ode to Coconuts
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Ode to Coconuts

Oh marvel of marvels, I beheld thee.

A coconut I hugged full of glee.

So many recipes, so many possibilities,

I look at thee and I count all the intricacies.

So hard to open,

so difficult to get,

I never truly appreciated how beautiful you can get.

With a sharpened bolo, I crack you open.

Side by side,

at the bottom,

making diagonal chops until you show the door to that juicy milk you've got. 

A song has been sung,

an ode to you.

About how you're not a nut but instead a fruit. 

(Here's a video - if you can't see it, click this link: http://youtu.be/SKusccsfg6I

Many vegans and non-vegans have long known how the coconut is truly a remarkable fruit. As a matter of fact, we regularly keep a store of them ready just in case we need to have some of the delicious coconut meat for some guests. We have about 10 trees in our front yard and the only maintenance that the trees need is to regularly cut and clean the "palapa" (the coconut tree leaves) which routinely fall every other week. 

The trees are a welcome sight in any type of garden and give that ambient tropical feel that's remarkably distinctive compared with any other plant or tree.

We store the fruits in a pile we keep at our front door. People believe that germinating coconut fruits are good luck and should be kept near one's place of business or home. I keep about 30 and so far this year, I have been quite lucky - thanks to theflamingvegan.com and rollingwithoutlimits.com. 

My fondness for coconuts extend well beyond the culinary scope. 

Respect the Coconut Tree

Respect the coconut tree and it will be nice to you.

It should be mentioned that one should stay clear of coconut trees during a storm or even a windy or rainy day. At any given moment, a bunch of coconuts could fall with enough prodding from brother gravity. I always make it a point to pay attention to the sounds from above whenever I am under one. 

Every September to December, I temporarily stop the gathering of coconuts so that they would have the time to replenish themselves for the holiday seasons. And last December 2012, we served a lot of viands that have coconut in them.

Buko Salad

A distinguishly tropical mainstay, even I could make a buko salad. Simply strip the coconut meat off a fresh coconut fruit, mix with condensed milk, then add fruit cocktail. It takes a lot of work and muscle, but the salad is truly rewarding and delightful for guests. 

Filipino Sweets

Yesterday, while having dinner with my wife and kids, I took to asking my wife why other cultures - most specially Western and European cultures, didn't have or weren't able to invent sweets that are akin to Filipino sweets. I'm speaking of latik, maja blanca, coco jam, calamay, biko, sapin-sapin and the ever universal ginataan. 

For the very long age and culture of Western nations, why oh why haven't they invented food like these? 

The answer may be pretty obvious to all, but to me, asking this fundamental question went back to the coconut in partnership with rice. 

Coconut meat and milk combined with rice creates a whole new cornucopia of desserts and sweets that simply couldn't be found anywhere else. I suppose a lot of Filipinos who are abroad - and there are millions now - probably miss these very common delicacies. 

In that manner, I think I am very lucky to have these coconuts and I'm very grateful for living in a place where there they are in great abundance. 

 

 

 

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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Leave a Comment

  1. kristo
    kristo
    Voted! Buko Salad sounds so tasy! There is an Indonesian variation on this called "es kelapa muda" which is basically the same thing but with shaved ice. Very refreshing :)
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    1. Daniel Garcia
      Daniel Garcia
      Thanks for the vote Kristo :) I've googled the Es Kelapa Muda and I would have to say that it's very different save for the coconut. I wish I took a picture of the buko salad that we made last New Years, but eh. :) Shaved Ice and coconuts does sound appetizing though. But I'd probably wait til March or April for that :)
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  2. SnakeWitch
    I think I've had some of these desserts. They're really good! Around here, though, they don't use rice as the 'sticking' agent - they use panela, or the sugar from sugar cane plants. Then, they add a variety of juices, nuts or other flavours to them. It's a delight! Voted! Check out my new post when you have the chance - Social Justice Reasons to Become Vegan.
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    1. Daniel Garcia
      Daniel Garcia
      Thank you SnakeWitch, Done!
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  3. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. An ode to coconuts, love it! Very unusual start to a blog. But you had me at "coconuts" anyway, as I adore them! They have many health benefits as well, apparently. You might like my latest recipe, Winter Warmer Beanchilash, please check it out! :-)
    Log in to reply.
    1. Daniel Garcia
      Daniel Garcia
      Thanks Veganara, I really appreciate it :) I thought it might be fitting to have different styles in blogging to keep myself from sounding monotonous. Taking a look at your blog post now :)
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  4. Anita Vegana
    What a great article. I've never seen green coconuts before. I voted. I would like to say that I have an article about drugs: Why Are Illegal Drugs so Harmful For the Environment?
    Log in to reply.
    1. Daniel Garcia
      Daniel Garcia
      Hello Anita :) Really? What color of coconuts do you see? I'm checking it out now :)
      Log in to reply.
      1. Anita Vegana
        We already see them with a brown, kinda furry shell on TV and in the movies here.
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        1. Daniel Garcia
          Daniel Garcia
          Ohhhhhh lol. After they are dehusked
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  5. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Coconut is definitely very versatile...we use the brown one (with the water still in it) almost everywhere in India. I am not a vegan yet, but through coconut and soy and I have definitely cut down my dairy intake to a good extent. Why don't you or your wife share some of the recipes here..I would love to try!
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    1. Daniel Garcia
      Daniel Garcia
      Sure thing, we're waiting for a special event though on Jan. 31, as some of them take a long time to prepare. That way, we can also take pictures and videos :)
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