Creamy Coconut Planting Is Gaining Popularity in Cambodia
Farmers are turning to plant creamy coconuts, a kind of coconuts which have cream when they are ripe, because it is a rare crop that has a better market than ordinary coconuts.
Kieng Kosal, a farmer who grows creamy coconuts on more than 2 hectares in Koh Andet district, Takeo province, said that he has been cultivating puffed coconut for more than 7 years, which helps to uplift his family economy to grow continuously.
Uniquely enough, the coconuts are not a very fruitful. Each creamy coconut crop can have only one fruit or no fruit at all, and out of the 340 coconut trees, he could harvest only 40 to 50 fruits per month.
Due to the rarity of this crop, it can be sold at around $12 per fruit, he said. When it comes to how it is served, the coconut can be eaten plain or can be used in many desserts, along with smoothies.
As he puts it, “In general, creamy coconut can not be used for cooking. Firstly, we take it for plain eating. Secondly, we can make it for desserts. Thirdly, we use it for smoothies. These are the only three usages. Pomegranate is rare and hard to grow, so it will not yield consistent production. Generally, we can get 30 to 40 to even 60 fruits, but there is no guarantee that we will always get fruits.”
Ms. Savry, a retailer selling puffed coconut in Battambang province, said that she sells 50 creamy coconuts a week. Customers ask for more, but she can not supply according to demand. She also added puffed coconut is unique in that it has soft flesh, and its fragrant cream is thicker than ordinary coconut.
“The benefits of creamy coconut are to help the joints, legs, and brain. It helps our hair because it is natural; it has oil in it, and what is special is that it helps pregnant women and the elderly. The elderly’s body is not like a child, so it helps the joints, ankles,” she remarked.
As the myth goes, the puffed coconut plant originated in Battambang province. In 1942, a monk came to study in Battambang province and ate puffed coconut. Because this kind of coconut tastes different from ordinary coconut, the monks took the seed. He planted this seed in the pagoda in his hometown and later distributed the seeds to all the Buddhist community.
By: Pon Lorngdy