Friday, January 24, 2014

The Travelling Nutmeg: Sea grapes and almonds

Sun hits the shore
Growing up next a beach is one of the many blessings as a kid. Despite the time away, my skin's candid familiarity to the sea water is astonishing. With each crinkle of sand, my entire body was at peace.

A view of the capital city
While waiting on the pot of oil down, we kids would make sand balls, chase each other around and then skin up the Sea Grape trees (Coccoloba uvifera) to see what fruit could fill our famished tummies.

This kind of grape is more seed than flesh, so we had to consume many of the pebble-sized berries. The tangy-sweet fruit combined with salt from the sea sprays must have given us more energy, for soon we would be engaged in a war with the naked seeds as our cannons until we worked up our appetite once more. Had this been summer vacation, you would have seen many pictures of ripe fruit. I found these hidden behind some leaves.

Sweet sea grapes
But with a view like this, the scarcity of sea grapes were the least of my problems.

Blessed Morning indeed!
Another old friend is the Sea Almond tree. The (Terminalia catappa) were and still are at least 100 ft tall. Without a stone, the birds enjoy all the purple flesh. That leaves me with the work of cracking open the husk to get to the seed.

Different parts of the almond tree are known for many medicinal properties which you can read about at In the meantime, I'm enjoying the most natural property of all: filtered sunshine.