Luis Ayala, Editor of "Got Rum?" magazine, Rum Consultant and Founder of The Rum University.
Luis with Snifter
Luis Ayala, Editor and Publisher of "Got Rum?" Magazine. www.gotrum.com
The Tree Of Life
Long known as the “Tree of Life” for its generous contributions towards survival and the advancement of societies in the tropics. Coconut palms are also widely misunderstood and underappreciated. While history does not provide us with a clear botanical origin for the coconut (generally attributed to New Guinea), we do have glimpses into its past based on accounts from writers and historians through the centuries.
I would like to share with you some of the most interesting facts about this lovely gift from nature:
• Botanically, the coconut palm is not a tree since it doesn’t have bark, branches, or secondary growth. Instead, a coconut palm is a woody perennial monocotyledon.
• When intra-venous (IV) solution was in short supply, WWII and Vietnam doctors used coconut water in substitution of IV solutions.
• In 16th century, Sir Francis Drake called coconut “nargils”, which was the common term used until the 1700’s when the word coconut was established.
• The sailors aboard Vasco de Gama’s ships gave the coconut its name. They called it “Coco”, named after a grimacing face.
• Falling coconuts kill 150 people every year, 10 times the number of people killed by sharks.
• Coconut oil was the world’s leading vegetable oil until soybean oil took over in the 1960’s.
• Coconut oils contain MCT’s, a median chain triglycerides which are easy to digest. The oil is a source of energy and has an accelerating effect on the metabolism. Coconut oils are very good for your heart.
• Coconut oils also contain four growth hormones, called cytokinins, and three sets of chromosomes – or triploids – that help the development of many organisms. Coconut water is considered the father of modern tissue culture science.
• Currently, research is being done to see if coconut can be used in hair regrowth and anti-aging cosmetics.
• Coconut water is an excellent mixer for rum.
• Coconut flavored rums are one of the cornerstone of rum mixology.
Whether you like coconuts or not, they have played a crucial role in the survival of our species and the evolution of our cocktails and, for that, we should be thankful.
Luis Ayala, Editor and Publisher