Selling coconut hearts (Chou coco ou salade du millionnaire)

By R. Bourdeix

Selling coconut hearts (Chou coco ou salade du millionnaire) can largely cover the costs of slaughtering senile coconut palms and replanting young palms.

The heart-of-coconut consists of the youngest organs of the coconut palm, close to the apex of the stem: terminal bud, leaf primordia, youngest folded leaves and upper tissues of the stem. It is considered a delicacy, sweeter and nuttier than the heart-of-palm of others palms species (Haynes and McLaughlin, 2000). As it can only be obtained by killing the plant, it is also called “millionaire's salad”. It can be eaten fresh or cooked with a wide range of sauces and dressings, or marinated before canning. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, b-carotene and poor in fats

Coconur heart - the commercial product is in the middle.
In Samoa, people are not used to eat the heart of coconut palm, when in other countries, such palm hearts are sold more than 80 USD piece. So it was proposed to extract 5 coconut palm hearts at Westec and to bring them as sample to the five largest luxuious resorts in Upolu. As a beginning, Each coconut heart could be sold at least 80 talas to these resorts.
Here is the technique to remove the heart from the palm trunk.

In Indian Ocean, people sometimes does not hesitate to kill young palms only to get their hearts...

The most luxurious restaurants, such as "La cristallerie" in Luxembourg, do not hesitate to associate the heart of the coconut tree with the most expensive foods, such as caviar or the flesh of the King Crab's tongs. Here is one of their receipes.


Jean-Pierre Labouisse, Tiata Sileye, Alexia Prades, Xavier Bonnot and André Rouzière. Improvement of the production of heart-of-coconut in Vanuatu: first experimental results. CIRAD internal report.
Haynes, J., McLaughlin, J., 2000. Edible palms and their uses. Extension fact sheet MDCE-00-50-1. Miami, University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Science.
Thai Food Composition Tables (1999), Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University (INMU), Thailand