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Jelly Coconuts


After leaving Michael's home, I declared my thirst to be now unbearable and asked Michael if he knew where I could get something to drink that did not come out of a bottle or box which was sickly sweet, like most Jamaican mass-produced soft drinks. Michael stopped near a shop and greeted some locals he knew- no surprise as he seemed to know everybody in this area.

While people in the Duncans area may be thought of as laid back, these guys here, who were weighing out some yam, were so laid back they almost seemed to be going in reverse. But I was in no hurry and I enjoyed the cheerful banter and activities which I had not seen for many years.

coconut tree dread jooking the coconuts down from tree

The coconut tree and the Dread "jooking" down the "jelly" coconuts

Eventually two dreadlocked men, who were smoking some home grown product, led us along the road for a hundred yards or so and ducked under a fence to some coconut trees which were laden with drinking coconuts, which Jamaicans call "jelly". These are coconuts that are fit for drinking before they start to dry out and the water turns milky. Jamaicans do not drink coconut milk. Many people think the jelly coconut is an acquired taste, but I drink as much of it as I can get every day when I am in Jamaica. It's one of the things I miss where I live, and really look forward to when I visit Jamaica.

One of the "dreads" found a nearby pole and used that to "jook" down the coconuts. A machete was produced from somewhere, and after a few chops, my host handed me a jelly which I drank gratefully, with the cool water dripping down my hands and forearms to my elbows. A couple more chops, and the empty jelly was opened for me to eat the soft white flesh. A sliver from the side of the coconut was my makeshift spoon for digging out the inside. Sweet and filling. So good in fact, I had another. Afterwards, I asked Michael how much I had to pay for the jellies, and he laughed and said nothing. I thanked the dreads who did not ask for or expect any payment, and we drove off.


Introduction : Comfort Hall, Hiking Trail Up Caledonia Hill, German Town, Jelly Coconuts, Top Of The Cavern, Natural Waterfall, Dam Waterfall, The Caves, Cavern Greenery, Further Reading