Go coco-nuts at Coco Fest this Saturday!

Photos by Janet Jarchow

Fancy going a little coco loco this Saturday? Then head to Pedro St. James for the annual Coco Fest.

Featuring all things coconut, the coconut-inspired event runs from noon to 6 pm offering a wide range of things to see and do.

The coconut is intrinsically linked to the Cayman Islands and this humble nut has been used for decades, primarily as a staple ingredient in a wide range of culinary dishes, as well as a refreshing drink.

And, in recent years a host of local artisans have used the humble coconut in a wide range of coconut-inspired goods too, from beauty and skincare products to local arts and crafts, all of which will be on show at this year’s Coco Fest.

The festival will also offer up a roster of musical entertainment, as well as fun activities for all ages, including a dance performance, a singalong for kids, bouncy castle, coconut bowling, and face painting. In addition, Coco Fest will also feature a coconut cake competition, as well as screenings of the locally made documentary The Bright Spot, which highlights the history of coconut oil production in the Cayman Islands.

Admission to this coco-tastic event is just $5, with proceeds going to local charity Meals on Wheels.

A yummy coconut recipe

And, if you can’t wait until Coco Fest to indulge in a delicious coconut treat, then why not try making VIVO Café’s mouthwatering coconut ceviche with coconut bacon at home? The team have kindly shared their recipe, below, for our coconut-loving readers.

This delicious dish features tender young local coconut, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, red radish, seasoning peppers, mint, cilantro, and cashew nuts. The ingredients are all dressed in a spicy coconut-lime dressing and then topped with VIVO’s popular coconut bacon - dehydrated coconut chips seasoned with smoked paprika, chili, salt, and a little bit of sugar.

“Our coconut ceviche really represents Cayman as it's made with all local ingredients,” Michele “Miky” Zama of VIVO says.

“It is definitely our most popular dish and represents VIVO's commitment to creating mind-blowing dishes that are healthy but super-tasty at the same time. It looks and tastes just like a fish ceviche but its 100 percent plant based. It's really refreshing with a spicy Caribbean-inspired kick, exactly what you need on a hot day in Cayman.”

Here’s how to make it at home……

Coconut ceviche with coconut bacon

12 ounces young coconut, about 2 coconuts, sliced

1 cucumber, sliced

1 large tomato, seeded and sliced

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup roasted nuts, cashews preferable

2 seasoning peppers, chopped

4 tablespoons lime juice

8 tablespoons warm coconut oil

1 tablespoon hot sauce or chopped chilies

Mint and cilantro, chopped

Set aside the warm coconut oil and mix all remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, adding more, or less to taste. Add warm coconut oil just before serving. Top with the coconut bacon and enjoy immediately.

Coconut bacon

½ ripe coconut

2 pinches of salt

1 pinch sugar

1 pinch smoked paprika

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Thinly slice the coconut using a mandolin and then season generously with the paprika, salt, sugar and oil.

Toss the coconut in a bowl to ensure it is evenly coated. If you have a dehydrator, place the coconut mixture in the dehydrator for six hours minimum.

Alternatively, set an oven to 200 F and cook for about one hour, or until crispy.

Looking for more mouth-watering recipes? Then pick up a copy of the latest issue of Bounce, or head on over to bounce.ky.