Papaya Villa is set in one of the original coconut plantations on the island of Efate. The local NiVan people have an affinity with coconuts, using them for everything from water in times of drought, to moisturiser to their national dish lap lap. Our housekeeper has passed on so many ‘secrets’ for using coconuts since she joined us in 2014.
Nothing is wasted; the cream is squeezed out through muslin and I use the remaining shreds to make the most amazing coconut macaroons. A few eggs with some sugar and a little butter and voila!
The local girls boil up the cream to make moisturiser; 100% natural and their skin is nothing short of amazing. Don’t let that secret get out. The rest of the world seems to be catching up with them and are ‘discovering’ the incredible health properties of coconuts. Sammi brings in green coconuts from the plantation most days. He takes the tops off them, and leaves them in the fridge for us. Perfect hydration and simply delicious.
We use the coconut cream for flavoring vegetable dishes as well as the lap lap.
One of our favorite things to do late in the afternoon is to stroll through the plantation and look for any coconuts that have dropped through the day. If they are green and have not split in the fall, we take them home to the villa for coconut water. It takes around 3-5 years for the coconut trees to bear their fruit; once they do they will keep bearing for decades. Really the tree that keeps on giving. I haven’t mastered scaling up the mature trees yet. I think I will leave that for our younger boys from the village.
Just working out how to turn that into a pina colada! stay tuned…