When you think of tropical fruit, one of the first things that comes into mind is the coconut…one of the most important crops of the tropics.
Coconut trees can grow up to almost one hundred feet tall with leaves that can be as long as twenty feet each.
Coconut trees can typically be found anywhere along the coast…wherever the average daily temperature stays above 55°F and the average annual rainfall is above 40 inches.
Each tree can yield as many as a hundred actual coconuts, but most trees grow about fifty.
Your typical coconut is an oval shape that is about fifteen inches long and seven inches round…weighing about three pounds…with a hard shell containing both coconut meat and liquid.
The name coconut comes from the Spanish word coco, which means ‘head’ or ‘skull.’ The coconut probably got this name from the fact that the coconut looks like a face…with three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facaaial features.
There are several varieties of coconut…which you probably wouldn’t know if you walk into your typical grocery store.
These include the Maypan coconut, the King coconut, and Macapuno….each varying in such factors as taste of the coconut water, color of the fruit. For more about the different types of coconut, check out this article by Home Stratosphere.