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Coco De Mer: The Forbidden Fruit

Some say it was the apple of the fig, but my bet is that the coco de mer was hanging from the tree of knowledge in eden.

Though the uninhabited Seychelles islands off the east coast of Africa were periodically used by pirates and traders through the centuries, when the first Europeans stumbled across the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in 1756, the only locations where the ancient coco de mer palm still grows, they were understandably shocked.

The shells of the fruit are life-sized simulatiosn of the female reproductive regions, including hips, stomach, thighs, pubis, and even a tuft of hair right where you'd expect it to be. The back resembles nothing more than a shapely rear end.

Besides the nut of the tree, which has been nicknamed the love nut, the pubic fruit, and the butt nut, the trees that grew them were downright indecent. Coco De Mer 1

The tree's woody female flowers are the size and shape of a woman's breasts, with an ovule right where you'd expect to find a nipple.

The male flower, or catkin, is essentially a giant erection-sporting penis.

Mother nature has to be winking at us.

A Long History

Old enough to be have been a feast for the dinosaurs, the nut was long a mystery.

Sailors found its empty husks floating in Asian waters for thousands of years, but no one knew where the coco de mer came from.

Superstitious crews saw what they described as a woman's rear end floating under the waves, and imagined that it grew on underwater trees or marked the presence of sea nymphs.

An entire cult revolved around the empty shells in India, where they frequently washed up on shore. They were used as ritualistic water vessels by priests and Hindu holy men still use them for begging bowls.

In tantra it's revered as Yoni, a symbol of creation and fertility. Some say the dried kernel can be used as an aphrodisiac or as a kind of natural Viagra. Whatever their medicinal properties, they're undeniably risqué.

Coco de Mer 2

Getting A Taste of The Forbidden Fruit

Under the salacious husk lies a custard-like flesh that only a lucky few get to taste.

After a 1990 forest fire and years of development, There are only 24,457 coco de mer palms left on Praslin and Curieuse, half are male, and two-thirds are too young to bear fruit.

It takes 6-7 years for a fruit to mature and a further two years for it to germinate into a new plant. Coco De Mer 3 Only 1,769 fruits reach maturity each year, and given that a hundred thousand tourists visit the Seychelles yearly, there aren't enough to go around.

The sale of the fruits-though not the empty shells- is strictly prohibited by law, with the punishment of two years in prison and a $800 fine for those that try.

On the other hand, anyone that has one growing on their property can give them away with no repercussions.

The few people that get to taste them usually describe a sweet earthy taste with a hint of citrus. Some even say it tastes like breast milk.

"The Fruit Hunters," author Adam Leith Gollner said coco de mer has a "mild citrus-like quality, refreshing and sweet with earthy, spunky notes. It tastes like coconut flesh, only sexier."

I'm dying to taste the coco de mer.

It's a forbidden fruit, after all, and a damn sexy one to boot.

Following Up

Find more unique fruits here.

Read about the healthy raw food diet that revolves around fruit like the coco de mer.

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