The coconut tree provides food, fuel, cosmetics, folk medicine and building materials, among many other uses.
The inner flesh of the mature seed, as well as the coconut milk extracted from it, form a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics.
Coconuts are distinct from other fruits because their endosperm contains a large quantity of clear liquid, called coconut water or coconut juice. Mature, ripe coconuts can be used as edible seeds, or processed for oil and plant milk from the flesh, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk.
Dried coconut flesh is called copra, and the oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking – frying in particular – as well as in soaps and cosmetics. Sweet coconut sap can be made into drinks or fermented into palm wine or coconut vinegar.
The hard shells, fibrous husks and long pinnate leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decoration.
Among all the fruits, coconut is probably the most popular and has the most uses. In Southern Vietnam, coconut can be found in Ben Tre, a province which has been famous for this kind of fruits for many years.
Coconut juice is a popular drinks in the hot summer, its flesh can be enjoyed raw, with sweet chè, or in stewed recipes; and its oil is aromatic enough for spa treatment.
The coconut juice, besides being served as a refreshment, can be used in many Vietnamese dishes, especially to give the broth or sautéed sauce a natural sweet flavor. Desserts made from either coconut juice or flesh are always popular as well.
Coconut can be easily found in the market or on the streets, especially in summer time. Imagine having a sip of the fresh coconut juice and relax yourself on one of the best beaches in the world: welcome to Vietnam!