Signature to the Los Angeles city skyline, sheen blades of green tower over avenues and boulevards. The palm tree is indicative of ideal climates, but not much is known about the fruit it bears. Think drinking straight from a coconut is exotic enough to be Snapchat worthy? This lesson has just begun.
With over 2,500 palm species around the world, there are actually more edible palm fruits that fall from these tropical trees than just coconuts, which also means a whole slew of nutritional benefits too. This just got better. Here are six different palms and their fruit from around the world that will make you want to look up and reach for a tall bite!
South America to the Maldives – Coconuts
To start off, yes, coconuts are most commonly known to come from the palm tree, and they are spread throughout all tropic and subtropic regions. That hangover you had last weekend? Coconut water, not Gatorade, would’ve saved you from that agony. In comparison to sports drinks, coconut water has fewer calories, less sugar, and more potassium, which is a mineral that helps nerves and muscles communicate especially during physical activity.
But how could that hangover be eliminated without knowing how to crack open a coconut? That’s why thinking two steps ahead is always appreciated during times like this. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the instructions on how to safely open a young coconut, because ten digits are better than nine.
Brazil – Acai
Coming from slender palm trees native to the Amazon River, acai is commonly used in South America to treat an upset stomach and is often mixed with a starchy root to make a porridge. Similar to a cross between a blueberry and grape, acai is considered a popular superfood rich in antioxidants with high levels of iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A.
These small purple berries have been getting plenty of attention for their goodness in the form of a bowl, an acai bowl. Just the thought of a chilled spoonful of purple smoothness with all the necessary toppings will get those sensible cravings on a roll. Oh, no need to ask! Here’s the recipe.
Argentina, Brazil, Uraguay – Jelly Palm (Pindo Palm)
Also plentiful in Florida, the Jelly Palm a.k.a. Pindo Palm produces an abundance of golden yellow fruit rich in pectin, thus making it easy to turn into a jelly.
The taste is a super sweet mix between a banana, pineapple, and apricot. No wonder it makes for a great sweet spread! Here’s a delightful surprise – wine can be made with Pindo fruit. Contain your excitement, here’s are the recipes.
New Guinea, Southeast Asia – Sago
Imagine a short, giant palm tree blossoming, and from its center comes a soccer sized bud of starchy pearls. Know what to do with these clear, silvery, chewy textured pearls? Make a dessert, of course. Much like tapioca, sago is used in many Asian sweet treats.
It’s also very popular for kids, because they love the a spoon full of little, chewy bubbles in their mouth!
Israel – Date palm
Popular uses around the world include date vinegar, chutney, date paste for bakery products, flavorings and roasted whole date seeds. Date Palms are drought resistant, making it abundant around the Middle East and California. Dates are high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, you know, all the good stuff.
Medjool dates are a popualar variety and make a nice, you guessed it, appetizer or dessert.
Palm hearts (Burglar’s Thigh, Palm Cabbage)
This can be found in coconut palms and acai palms. Who would’ve guessed that heart of palms can be a great dish in salads? Well, now you know. Here are 11 recipes to enjoy palm hearts
As a Culinary Adventurist, getting her hands into food before it gets onto the plate comes naturally to Reena. She spit-roasted her first whole pig at the age of eight, harvested hazelnuts in Italy, butchered a lamb at a ranch in Australia, spent a summer splitting open live lobsters at a traveling pop-up kitchen in Holland, and visits a small vineyard along the central California coast to make wine and olive oil each year. She’s determined to find the elusive white truffle in her lifetime. A graduate from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, Reena holds a deep appreciation for cultural traditions in food, and her favorite simple pleasure is sharing a meal al fresco.