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Coconut water sipped through a papaya stem straw ~ A great way to beat the heat on St. Croix! featured post *tasteologie

Coconut water sipped through a papaya stem straw ~ A great way to beat the heat on St. Croix!

May 5th, 2011

One of the highlights of the trip to St. Croix was the Ridge to Reef Farm tour setup by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.  After touring the grounds of the area's only certified organic farm, I noticed someone drinking straight from a coconut. I knew immediately that I had to try this for myself and soon learned the joys of sipping coconut water out of a freshly opened coconut with a papaya stem.  It was a fun way to recover from a long hot day walking around in the Caribbean and the papaya stem straw gave it an interesting twist.

The day started with a series of narrow winding roads up into the mountains to the valley where the farm sits. The Ridge to Reef Farm, operated by Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute, was part of our schedule in the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience and home to a fantastic variety of tropical crops.
This treat is totally local, organic, and sustainable, but it takes a lot of work to get at the delicious insides. It is however completely worth it...
... especially when someone, in this case Shelli, the farm's program coordinator, kindly offers to hack one open for you, while saying "There is no point in going to the gym if you are running and not going anywhere... if you're lifting something and don't get any food out of it"
It tasted AMAZING.... like no coconut water I've ever had before. It was cleaner.. sweeter... The papaya straw magically converts the flavor and so everything becomes a wonderful sort of light tropical fruit punch, but still crisp and clear like drinking water... perfect for a hot and humid day.
Hammocks, once used by the native Taino peoples since before Columbus arrived, are the perfect spot to enjoy papaya coconut wonderfulness.
They even come with a view.
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