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Coconut Juice

A recipe is hardly needed for coconut juice (or coconut water, called madafu in Swahili-speaking Eastern Africa): just cut off the end of the coconut, raise it to your lips, and enjoy the refreshing liquid inside. People do this all over the world's tropical areas, including Africa. If you are in Africa, vendors selling coconuts will often do the cutting for you. It helps to know, however, that coconut juice is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut juice is found inside the green (unripe) coconut. You should be able to hear the juice sloshing around inside an unripe coconut when you shake it. As the coconut matures and coconut meat forms inside, the juice diminishes. The fully ripened coconut has the maximum amount of coconut meat, but the minimum of juice. A description of making coconut milk is found on the Wali wa Nazi recipe page.

mombasa, kenya

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James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw

they supply the inhabitants of the country with meat, drink and clothes

In an "Atlantic slave narrative" titled A narrative of the most remarkable particulars in the life of James Albert Ukawsaw_Gronniosaw, an African prince, written by himself (Newport, Rhode-Island, in Queen-Street 1774; reprinted and sold by Solomon Southwick) the author, James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, who was born and raised in Borno (in the area of the Chad-Niger border), describes the usefulness of the coconut palm, including its "milk" (juice):

Our place of meeting [for worship] is under a large palm tree ; we divide ourselves into many congregations ; as it is impossible for the same tree to cover the inhabitants of the whole city, though they are extremely large, high and majestic ; the beauty and usefulness of them are not to be described ; they supply the inhabitants of the country with meat, drink and clothes ; * the body of the palm tree is very large ; at a certain season of the year they tap it, and bring vessels to receive the wine, of which they draw great quantities, the quality of which is very delicious : The leaves of this tree are of a silky nature ; they are large and soft ; when they are dried and pulled to pieces, it has much the same appearance as the English flax, and the inhabitants of BOURNOU [Borno] manufacture it for clothing, &c. This tree likewise produces a plant, or substance, which has the appearance of a cabbage, and very like it, in taste almost the same : It grows between the branches. Also the palm tree produces a nut, something like a cocoa, which contains a kernel, in which is a large quantity of milk, very pleasant to the taste : The shell is of a hard substance, and of a very beautiful appearance, and serves for basons [basins], bowls, &c.


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