World Coconut Day
On World Coconut Day, let's check how coconut is deeply entwined in Goa's culture and heritage.
In Goa, toddy tapping is one of the oldest, traditional occupations. Since Goa has abundant coconut groves in Goa, there used to be plenty of toddy tappers in the days gone by. However, their numbers have dwindled today.
Coconut groves all around
In Goa, if you travel in the villages, you will find places called 'madani' . These are areas which have roads, lined with coconut trees on both the sides.
Coconut is used for various rituals in Goa. While coconut is given as prasad by Goa's Hindus, it is also 'broken' on auspicious occasions. Therefore, many people embark on a new venture, or journey, by breaking a coconut.
Back in the day, traditional ladles in Goan kitchen were made of coconut. These would range from big to small spoons, made from coconut shells. The edible parts would be removed from the coconut, and a stick would be inserted in the coconut shell, and would function as a handle.
In early times, people would use coconut oil to prepare food. They considered it to be healthy. People would also make use of coconut oil for joints and muscle pains. They believed that it was an effective pain reliever.
Coconut is widely used in Goa's cuisine. From curry to veggies, coconut is an important element in most dishes. Xacuti, fish curry, patoleos, alle belle and various other dishes use generous amounts of coconut.
Importance of coconut
The World Coconut Day is a reminder for everyone, to understand the health benefits and significance of coconuts in our daily lives.