Free Coconuts and Cheap Pineapples - Yum!

coconut palm tree in Bora Bora

It is just a fact that it is expensive to eat on Bora Bora. However, if you would enjoy free coconuts and cheap pineapples, let me tell you what we did to cut down on our food expenses each day.

We went to the little local grocery store after breakfast and found that they had fresh baguettes of bread every morning. Make sure you find out when they arrive, however, as we got there too late one day and they were all gone. They also had pineapples for $1.00! I was in heaven! I love pineapples and they are always so expensive in our store here in the states. Every pineapple we bought was perfectly ripe and sweet, too. Get yourself some butter and/or peanut butter for some protein, and you have lunch!

Fresh baguettes in French Polynesia

Fresh pineapples in Bora Bora

We also noticed walking along the road that there were coconuts lying all over the ground everywhere. Free coconuts! We finally decided to pick one up and take it back to add to our little pineapple and baguette meal. We were really feeling native by this time..... Well, you would think you could just smash a coconut with a rock or something, right? WRONG. If only someone had filmed us - we must have looked plenty foolish throwing that coconut around on the pavement, bashing it with bigger and bigger rocks. It would not crack one little bit. We were plenty frustrated by the time we stomped back to the hotel, but we took the coconut with us. We finally asked someone how to open it and they showed us a stick stuck in the ground near the restaurant. It was pretty thick, with a sharpened end sticking up. Well, they had it open in a couple of seconds. See below to find out how they did it! (Don't forget you have to open that pineapple, too.)

So, You Want To Open Your Free Coconut..........


Take a close look at your coconut. Note that there are three "holes" at one end. Two will have ridges that resemble "eyebrows" by them. Hold the coconut in one hand, with the tips of your index finger and middle finger just over the "eyebrows". Firmly hit the "chin" of the coconut on a hard surface such as a pointed rock. Or, you could use the end of a thick, sharp stick stuck in the ground! Don't be shy about it - really give it a whack. The coconut will crack in half. You may do this either before or after draining the "milk." You may think this sounds too easy, but it is all about hitting it in just the right spot. If you do, it will crack right open.

coconut pieces in Bora Bora

An alternative method would be to tap the coconut. If you do not have a heavy knife, grip the coconut and firmly tap it around its "equator" on a hard and solid edge. A corner on a very large rock or brick wall or the edge of a concrete slab works well for this (patio, street curb, concrete stairs). Continue to tap and rotate until the coconut splits completely open.

You might prefer to drain the coconut juice before cracking it open:

Place the coconut on a hard, flat surface that will not be damaged.

Find the soft "eye" of the coconut that will be soft enough to push a screwdriver (or something similar)through. If not, get a nail and a hammer to create the hole. (That sharp stick in the ground might work for this, too!)

Drain the coconut juice.

Of course, I am sure you could find a friendly someone at your hotel to open your coconuts for you, but then you would be missing the fun of it!

Now that you have your coconut open, you will find it is not easy to get the "meat" out. Here's a Samoan hint: Use a dull knife, such as a butter knife, to slice into the thick meat, on an angle to the edge of the shell. Push down and twist the blade toward the lip of the shell, and a nice piece will pop out. This is what we did, and it worked really well.

You will definitely have to get knives for your free coconuts and cheap pineapples from your hotel. Packing a knife in your luggage for any reason, these days, could cause you to have a very different kind of vacation, if you know what I mean....

Eating this little, light, and inexpensive lunch leaves you with more money and more room for an amazing dinner and some fancy drinks at night. Besides, I would much rather be in that beautiful lagoon during the day, than spend too much time eating lunch - wouldn't you agree? Enjoy!

coral in Bora Bora lagoon

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