Passionate about organic agriculture, sustainable production and collective partnerships, our products are only sourced from smallholder farms and estates in the rural villages of the coconut triangle of Sri Lanka. Every Kokonati product is made in a dedicated mill that produces only that type of product, so the quality is the best it can be, with generations of expertise guiding every step of the process. We believe that Ceylon is blessed with an abundance of healthy and exotic fruits, nuts, herbs and spices that as Lankans, we use daily. It should rightly be shared with the rest of the
world. So we started sharing what we know best.
Coconuts, spices and fruits.
Supporting and building on traditional livelihoods.
How it all began….like a message in a bottle floating across vast oceans, the ancient coconut, drifted along, a great traveler riding the waves that carried it ashore to lush tropical lands in Southeast Asia, Polynesia, India, Sri Lanka, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, South America, and Florida.
Hardy self-contained little souls, many coconuts actually sprouted during their long ocean voyage and when washed ashore to the fertile tropical soils, took root and began to grow!
In 1519 Antonio Pigafetta, a nobleman from Venice wrote, “Coconuts are the fruit of the palm trees. And as we have bread, wine, oil, and vinegar, so they get all these things from the said trees. . . With two of these palm trees a whole family of ten can sustain itself. . . They last for a hundred years.”.
Early Sanskrit writings reveal the coconut as a kalpa vriksha, which translates as a “tree that gives all that is necessary for living.”
As trade and businesses developed across the globe and sugar was becoming plentiful on the continents, the candy and pastry business blossomed. All sorts of fruits and nuts were incorporated into confections, making coconut meat a desirable product.
Soon tea and spice traders from Ceylon were shipping whole coconuts to London, an operation that proved impractical and expensive as the coconuts sprouted on their journey at sea!
A French company, J.H. Vavasseur and Company, set up operations in Ceylon with a unique solution for shipping coconuts to Europe.
They shredded the coconut meat and dried it thoroughly, making it easier to pack without spoilage. By the early 1890’s they were shipping six thousand tons of desiccated coconut, a figure that multiplied by ten in 1900.
Today, coconut plantations in Ceylon, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and the Philippines provide export income to these regions. Considered the most useful tree in the world, the coconut palm provides food, drink, clothing, shelter, heirloom history, and financial security. Hardly an inch of the coconut palm goes to waste, many Ceylonese rely on the coconut palm for survival and refer to it as the “tree of life”.
Tropical people always relied on natural plants for their medicine. Young coconut juice has been used in folk healing for a number of ailments: relieving fevers, headaches, stomach upsets, diarrhea and dysentery. The juice is also given to strengthen the heart and restore energy to the ill.
Water from a young coconut not only provided a refreshing drink in the steamy equatorial countries, but in times of medical emergency it was used as a substitute for glucose. During World War II young coconut water became the emergency room glucose supply when there was no other sterile glucose available. Within a clean self-contained vessel, the coconut water is free of impurities and contains about two tablespoons of sugar.
Coconuts and their edible products, such as coconut oil and coconut milk, have suffered from the repeated misinformation because of a study conducted in the 1950’s that used hydrogenated coconut oil. Recent research has found that in its unrefined, virgin state, it is actually beneficial, largely because of its high content of lauric acid, almost 50 percent and is actually good cholesterol.
Because lauric acid has potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, recent studies have considered coconut oil as a possible method of lowering viral levels in HIV-AIDS patients. The lauric acid may also be effective in fighting yeast, fungi, and other viruses such as measles, Herpes simplex, influenza and cytomegalovirus.
There are as many uses for the coconut as there are days in the year so the humble Coconut came to be known as the Soul Food of the Tropics.
Living on an island we have always taken our coconuts seriously and we are glad the rest of the world has started doing the same now!