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See also: Carnauba Palm; Coconut; Dates; Kukui; etc.

PALM, PALMETTO

The Cabbage Palmetto (Sabal palmetto) is native to the Southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean. Also known as Cabbage palm and Swamp Cabbage. This is the plant that hearts of palm are obtained from. The tender hearts of the terminal bud or young leaf shoots. Harvesting of the terminal bud kills the tree. Hearts of palm have many layers (similar to leeks), and are a pale ivory color, with a very mild nutty flavor. They are used mostly in salads.

    • The Palmetto Tree or Cabbage Palmetto (Inodes palmetto) was designated as the Official Tree of South Carolina in 1939.

    • The Sabal Palmetto Palm (Sabal palmetto) is the official state tree of Florida.

The average date palm produces about 100 pounds of dates a year. A good date palm can produce 300 to 600 pounds of dates per year, and will produce for 100 years or more.

The Coco de mer also called double coconut, is a palm tree found only on the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. The coco de mer fruit has 2 lobes and looks like 2 coconuts joined together. The fruit takes 10 years to mature, and can weigh up to 50 pounds, making it one of the largest fruits in the plant kingdom. The shells were found floating in the ocean long before anyone knew where they came from, and they were thought to have magical properties.

The doum palm is native to the Nile region in Africa. The edible fruits taste like gingerbread. Also called gingerbread palm, gingerbread tree, dhoum palm and Egyptian palm.

"The doum palm produces a refreshing fruit, in which I was able to detect the taste of gingerbread.  A lady in Cairo ... once offered me a cool sorbet of doum fruit."
Alexandre Dumas in his 'Grande Dictionnaire de cuisine'.

There are 60 references to date palms in the Old Testament.

 

 

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