are just a few plants that have played such an important role
in our way of life. Coconuts, or what the Thai call ‘ma-prao’,
are one of those plants. When talking about coconuts, one is
reminded of those tall tropical-looking trees lining the southern
coast of Thailand, and of course, of monkeys. What do monkeys
have to do with coconuts? This tale of coconuts will tell you
may imagine what coconut trees look like, and perhaps you might have
seen coconuts sold among many exotic fruits in an Asian supermarket
in your neighbourhood. However, coconuts have quite a long tale of
their own before reaching your local market. The round and rather
heavy green fruits grow from branching stems of flowers springing
from the top of coconut trees.
When young coconuts appear ready to be picked (which means that they
have darker green colour with the right size), wise Thai farmers
send their trained monkeys up the trees to pick and bring the fruits
back to them. Why use the monkeys? This is because the coconut trees
are usually very tall and it will be too tiring and time-consuming,
even dangerous for farmers to climb up the trees themselves. Thus,
they train monkeys to do the job for them. Training schools for
monkeys still exist in the south of Thailand and competitions to
find out the fastest monkeys are also held every year.
in freshly picked coconuts is delicately sweet coconut juice
which is believed to be the best remedy to quench thirst, especially
during Thailand’s hot and humid summer time. Apart from
the delicious juice, coconuts also provide us with their white
juicy coconut meat that enhances the sweetness of the juice
when combined together. No wonder that coconut juice has always
been on top of the lists of both Thai and foreigners favourite
drink. Coconut meat, in addition to combining with coconut
juice, can be used as an ingredient in various Thai-style desserts,
such as, tapioca pearls in coconut milk ('sa-ku-nam-ga-ti') or
ruby-like dough in coconut milk ('tub-tim-grob').
you may ask "And where does coconut milk
come from? The juice?" The answer is no. Coconut milk or ‘ga-ti’ is
made from grated meat of ripe coconut mixed with warm water
and the milky white juice is squeezed out of the grated meat.
A ripe coconut is required because when the coconut ripens,
the meat inside becomes thicker due to accumulation of fat.
'Ga-ti' is one of the essential ingredients of favourite Thai
dishes, be it be for main courses or desserts.
can be mixed with chilly paste to create a variety of well-known
Thai dishes including Thai green and red curries, chicken in
coconut soup ('tom-kha-gai') and the famous tom-yum-kung soup. For
dessert, one of the most famous Thai desserts made of 'ga-ti'
is tapioca pearls in coconut milk with sliced young coconut
‘Ga-ti’ can also be made into thick dipping sauce for ripe mangos,
bananas and durians.
extracting all the juice and meat in a coconut, what we have
left with are coconut shells. In the past, Thai children made
use of these coconut shells by playing a game called
‘dern-ga-la’ (walking on coconut shells). They simply make two
holes on the sides of a coconut shell and pass a small string
through the holes. Then they step on the shells with the string
in their hands and try to walk on the shells. Who arrives at
the winning point first wins the game. Moreover, some kinds
of coconut shells can be made into a Thai string musical instrument
called ‘saw’. Now you
should have a clear idea why coconuts have become such an integral
part in Thai people’s lives.
process of making coconut milk into Thai dishes is not difficult
even though several different ingredients and spices are needed.
Thus, Thai-Choice is proud to present you
a wide range of coconut products, including all the famous
Thai dishes, drinks and desserts, for example, coconut juice,
coconut milk, coconut powder, red and green Thai curry, panang
curry, chicken in coconut soup and tapioca pearls in coconut
milk (with or without coconut meat).