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Jewel of the tropics

K. PRADEEP
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BOOK “Cracking Coconut”, a book brought out by the Coconut Development Board, de-husks the wonder nut

T he Pacific Islanders call it the ‘tree of life'. For us, it is the Kalpavriksha. Charles Darwin, Mahatma Gandhi, Marco Polo and many other great minds have sung its praise. The coconut tree is certainly the wonder tree, the jewel of the tropics.

In a lavishly-illustrated and well-researched coffee-table book aptly titled “Cracking Coconut”, C.V. Ananda Bose, IAS, Chairman, Coconut Development Board, cracks the myths, history, wonders and secrets of this nut.

Divided into twelve chapters, the book traces the myths associated with the coconut tree and the nut; the legends, its uses in health and beauty care, its versatility, and non-traditional uses.

Interesting is the chapter ‘Coconut Tell Tales'. The author has compiled fascinating facts about the wonder tree. There is mention of the world's largest coconut orchestra in London, Madonna's obsession for coconut water, of how John F. Kennedy was saved by a coconut shell. and many such…

Healthy oil

Another riveting chapter is ‘Coconut Creations', with which the book closes. The author focusses on the coconut's generosity as a cooking medium. It is described as the world's healthiest dietary oil.

There are also some mouth-watering recipes of coconut-based cuisine.

These chapters give the book a different flavour making it not just a list of bare facts supplemented with superb pictures.

The book stands out for its design, layout and printing. Done by Magnum Intergrafiks, the design makes for easy reading, the pictures blending well with the brief text right through the 105 pages. The content development, designing, layout and printing were said to be completed in 20 days. The book was released on September 2, 2010, as part of the World Coconut Day.

It is priced at Rs. 2,000.

K. PRADEEP

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