Some Facebook friends have chastised me as I never followed up on the mystery pod I had posted. Sorry about that. I waited for mother nature to allow me to complete the photos – and dropped the ball. So let’s start at the beginning.
When in Trini, I took the cruisers’ bus to the market early one Saturday morning. That trip allows for one hour at this incredible market, and then a half hour at a large, modern grocery store. Not enough time. I asked EW to accompany me the next week, and we planed to go in alone to the market on the local bus. Trini is a great country. We had no problems there, but there are sections of town that are unsafe. Jennifer, one of the guards at the gate at Peake said that she would go with us. It wasn’t necessary for our safety, but it was a wonderful day and she deserves and will get her own post.
There are two large buildings, one for fish and meat, and one for produce and sundries – clothing, shoes, sauces, and all sorts of stuff. First, we walked the parameter of that building, buying produce from the stands outside. On the back side, three young men had a small pick-up filled with oranges, grapefruit, and a mysterious pod. Immediately intrigued, EW and I asked them what it was. We were very surprised at the answer, and purchased one of the pods for $15 TT. TT is what they call the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, which has about $6.00 to one ratio to the US dollar. Good deal.
“See how she’s changed this morning?” One day, EW said, “She’s ready!”
Ta-da! This is how brazil nuts grow.
In the wild, the hard woody pod grows narrow side up. We could see a grooved circle in the large end, and watched over a few days as it gradually opened up, revealing a plethora of brazil nuts, snugly nestled, one on top of the other. They are anchored with a white plant substance, that we were told is edible and is, in fact, used to make a punch. We were also told that we should remove it, to eat, use it or throw away, as it will turn rancid.
The shells of each nut were quite soft at first and we could easily crack them with out teeth. We allowed the nuts to dry in the pod in the cockpit, with the shells getting progressively harder each day. The nuts didn’t last long enough for the shells to harden completely. They were delicious – and good for you.
Check this out to see more photos of the nuts, pods, and tree.
We still have the pod. I’m thinking about varnishing the inside and using it to hold crackers when we entertain.
Now you know.