…and nobody knows coconut cream pies like Mary Ann Summers. Celebrated every September 2, World Coconut Day is all about…well, coconuts! And since we have been known to peddle a coconut candy or two in our day, Stuckey’s would like you to join us and the rest of the world in celebrating the importance and uses of this versatile fruit. Cracking the Coconut The coconut itself is not really a nut, but actually the mature fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera. The only living species of the genus Cocos which belongs to the palm tree family Arecaceae, it grows best in the tropical climates of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands and especially well along their coastal regions where they have moist, sandy, saline-rich soil in which to flourish. In fact, it’s here along the coasts that you’ll find trees up to 100 years old and some that have grown more than a hundred feet high! It takes four to five years after it becomes a seedling for the young plant to produce coconuts, but once they start, they can yield between 20 and 150 coconuts a year – that’ll make a lot of coconut cream pies! Milking the Coconut’s Health Benefits The coconut is rich in vitamins, calories and minerals and provides a wide variety of health benefits, including: Coconuts contain lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid that increases “good” cholesterol, lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke. Coconut milk contains simple sugars, electrolytes, minerals, and bioactive compounds that help with digestion and metabolism. Extracted from the dry kernel, coconut oil is an excellent oil for cooking. It also works as a great emollient when applied over the skin and scalp; in fact, it’s a main ingredient in many products for the hair, scalp, and skin. Since the coconut is a great source of B-complex vitamins, you reap their many benefits including increased energy, enhanced mood, and memory improvement, among others. Fun Coconut Facts Here are some fun and interesting facts about coconuts and coconut trees you might not have known about: Coconuts can be used as flotation devices. Coconuts are only found growing inland because a human transported it there; otherwise they only grow near the coasts. Coconut fossils have been found in India, Australia, and Columbia. A coconut can travel 100 days in the ocean and still germinate once it rests on land. Coconuts play an important role in the myths and legends of many Asian and South Pacific cultures. The coconut is prominently displayed on the coat of arms of the Maldives and is also their official tree. In India, the coconut plays an important part in Hindu religious ceremonies. Though the coconut tree produces both male and female flowers, it doesn’t self pollinate. The trees also do not have a tap root. The trunk of the coconut tree is used in the construction of bridges, houses, and boats; in fact, General Marcos of the Philippines built a palace from coconut timber in the 1970s. An extract from an unopened coconut flower is used to make coconut vodka. Aw, Shucks! Stuckey’s, Coconuts, and the War Effort Back during World War II when sugar was a rationed and rare commodity, W.S. Stuckey bought a small stick candy factory in Jacksonville, Florida, in order to get a larger quota of sugar. Some of this sugar would be sent to his Eastman candy plant to keep the pecan log rolls rolling. One of the popular candy sticks that came out of Stuckey’s new plant was a coconut candy stick; however, like sugar, coconut was also very hard to come by during the war years. As a result, Mr. Stuckey came up with the clever idea of how to handle his coconut shortage. By taking shucked corn husks and grinding them up to look like coconut flakes, then adding the coconut flavoring to make it taste like the real thing, he made a lot of money selling his coconut sticks in those days and no one was the wiser. Ways to Celebrate World Coconut Day Crack open a coconut! You can join the celebration by going over to our website and taking advantage of our special discounted prices on selected coconut products like coconut haystacks and coconut macaroons. But Hurry! It’s available for World Coconut Day only! Besides munching on some unique coconut treats, here are some other ways you can join in on the fun: Crack open a coconut! If you’ve never cracked a real coconut open, this’ll be a lot of fun. Cook special coconut-based dishes for your family and friends. Throw a tropical party and provide coconut based dishes and drinks. Grow your own coconut tree at home. Coconut Day Wishes While you’re throwing a party or just enjoying some coconut goodies, here are some coconutty sayings you can post today: Don’t sit under the coconut tree with anyone else but me today! Happy World Coconut Day! Hey! It’s World Coconut Day, so let’s get cuckoo for coconuts. I’m going coconuts about World Coconut Day! Can you think of some others? Let us know, We’d be glad to hear more! The most important thing is to remember to have fun and enjoy a day filled with coconutty goodness. Don’t forget to stop at one of our Stuckey’s locations and pick up some unique coconut treats to help you celebrate the occasion. No Stuckey’s located near you? No problem! Order Stuckey’s merchandise delivered right to your door from stuckeys.com. While you’re there, why not pick up some of our famous Stuckey’s pecan rolls and other fine Southern candies – good to have on hand for National Pecan Day or any other day of the year!