Monday, December 31, 2012

Coconut Sugar? Yep, and it is Yummy!

 I have had fresh coconut, and frozen coconut and roasted coconut, but while we were visiting Bangkok, I learned a lot more about coconut.  We stopped at a coconut farm where they were extracting oil from the coconut meat by boiling it until the oils separated.  They used this oil for cooking and making cosmetics such as lotions and creams.

The "flower" of the coconut tree has it's nectar extracted and the juices are boiled until the "sugar" is reduced to a light to medium brown and shaped into little patties.  By the way, it is absolutely delicious, and is the type of sugar used in most Thai desserts.  YUM.

They waste NOTHING of the coconut tree here, using the husks of the coconut to generate the heat to boil the other goods.
 Coconot "oil" being reduced and prepared to separate.
 The first part of the heating process of extracting the "sugar."
 Boil, boil and more boil... This stuff is some kinda hot and requires constant attention to reduce it into the sweet sticky sugar.

 This is the fire under the wok like pots boiling the sugar mixture.  This is just coconut husks burning here and boy is it hot!
 These are the little sugar patties after they are formed being allowed to "dry" before bagging for sale.  I had to buy some after tasting it, and I will used it to make something special at home.

 As you can see, this is an outdoor operation, and hot, hot, hot!
 Leena, our Guide showing us the flower pod which produces the nectar for the sugar.
 The inside of the coconut "flower" pod.
 There is also an orchid farm on the premises and a small gift shop.  Some of the things are priced fairly, but some are priced rather high as this location gets a lot of tourists!

I actually ended up buying some Saffron here as it is very cheap in comparison to what you pay Stateside.

I bought a good sized jar of Saffron for the equivalent of about $10...and that amount would be $50 or more in the US.

I also bought a small amount of the coconut lotion which was for sale.  Felt great...smelled great!
These small orchids are used all over Thailand in so many ways from decoration on plates, to offerings at Temples.

After leaving this area, on our way back into the city, we noticed the "salt farms."

I didn't realize they still farmed sea salt in Thailand.  They can only do it a couple of times a year, because it can not be harvested during the rainy seasons. 

Sea Salt fields....

Roadside stand selling local sea salt...yep, I bought suitcase was gaining weight with every stop! HAHAHA

GOD BLESS!   Peace - Love and Joy!

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