As Organic as It Gets, Sri Lanka

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On the Road in Sri Lanka, by Wendy Petersen

While taking a day trip to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an ancient palace in Sri Lanka, our driver, Prem, who had been with us all week, stopped the car for a small break. My mom, Prem and I got out and walked over to the coconut stand, where we purchased a refreshing drink for about $.50.

Our drink came in the form of a raw coconut that had been plucked from the tree above us. My mom and I each picked out which coconut looked the best, and the owner of the stand used a machete to chop the top off, and stick a straw in the hard hollow fruit. It did not taste like coconut in the states. It was not sugary. It tasted slightly sweet, and earthy.

Blog5_photo_400x300When we finished drinking the fresh coconut water, which, by the way, is now mass produced and sold here in America as a super hydrating beverage, the same owner of the stand took our coconut and, using the same machete, chopped it in half. He carved a small chip out of the hard shell for us to use as a spoon, and we used that to scrape the inside layer of the coconut as a snack. We didn’t know what he was doing, of course, and had to be shown how to eat a raw coconut!

When we were finished drinking and eating our coconut, I wasn’t sure what to do with the ‘garbage’. The owner pointed to the corner of the stand. There was a heap of cast away shell husks – we were to toss ours there too. Since the shell was 100% organic, I had no issues with my coconut joining its retired team. I stuck the straw in my purse for when a ‘real’ garbage can surfaced.

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