If there’s two things I enjoy in the Maldives it is exotic flavours of local ingredient and the traditional cocktail of a Pina Colada. Now, Amilla has added another screw pine concoction mashing up these two into a Screw Pine Colada:
- “Enjoy a Maldivian twist to your usual pina colada with the fresh flavours of our home-grown products. Our rum-based coladas are made with fresh screw pine juice and coconut water from our island – truly the taste of the Maldives in a glass.”
A few these walking tree drinks and you might just be walking into the tree (“screw pines” as also known as “walking trees”).
The most gourmet use of the quintessentially Maldivian screw pine we have come across is the “Screw Pine Panacotta” SAii Lagoon’s “Miss Olive Oyl” restaurant.
F&B Manager Arista Arres described the dish for us:
- “This tropical Maldivian fruit is called in locally Kashikeyo. A creamy pudding is made out of fresh extract of screw pine. ‘Screw Pines; are those surreal trees so defined by their adventitious roots that they also have the nickname ‘Walking Pines’. They are most commonly found in the Maldives.”
Not only that, but he even generously shared the recipe for anyone wanting to try it as home (and able to get their hands on screw pine fruit):
- 70 gm fruit screw pine
- 50 ml whipping cream
- 40 gm sugar
- 4 gm gelatin leaves
- 1 no fruit banana
- clean the screw pine fruit and make a puree out of it
- mix the cream and sugar and add the screw pine puree
- add the soaked gelatine leaves and mix and strain it
- chill it and garnish caramelized banana
For that truly authentic glass of refreshment, you don’t get more Maldivian than screw pine (I’ve even add a “Screw Pine” tag now for the various tree treats). Amilla Fushi offers its own Screw Pine Soda for guests who want to slake their thirst with something straight out of their own island in paradise.
Happy Thanksgiving! A time for friends and “homecoming”. For us, Kurumba is almost like our Maldivian home. We have been there the most times and GM Jason and his wife Victoria (see below) have become lovely friends.
And like most American celebrations, today’s traditional turkey day is a time for eating. A feast of native delicacies. And Kurumba is certainly the standout out there with their cornucopian array of Maldivian gourmet dishes….
- Indian Ocean Island Colada with screw pine, cinnamon and other spices of the area (see below)
- Maldivian Rolls (see above)
- Screw Pine Alaska Bomb (see bottom)
- Maldivian salad (cabbage like vegetable)
Screw pine is literally part of the Maldives landscape, but it can also be used for food. Being a tree, it needs to be peeled and then boiled for 3 hours. Kurumba chefs use the pulp for the bombe and the juice used for cocktail.
Pilgrims in Paradise!
‘Screw pine’ ice news PR (anagram there for you…)
July is ice cream month. And the ice cream with the truly Maldivian flavour is made on Kuramathi – “Screw Pine Ice Cream”. “Screw Pines” are those surreal trees so defined by their adventitious roots that they also have the nickname “Walking Pines”. They are most commonly found in the Maldives. The notes from the resort’s botanic walk describes…
“Maakashikeyo, Pandanus odoratissimus. Abundant plant, growing along beaches with numerous pro roots originating from the base of the trunk. It can grow to a height of 15 m, stems are hollow. Male and female flowers are in separate trees. The fruits on the female tree are pineapple like and become red when ripe. Use: the red portion of the fruit is eaten raw or cooked with rice, for soups or to make sweets and juice. On Kuramathi, we also make screw pine ice cream. You can try this at Palm!”
A rich tropical forest tapestry blankets Adaaran Hudhuranfushi with a colourful and quirky canopy. The sand paths have a grander arboreal arch to them than most islands.
And the diversity is stunning. There are several giant Banyans around the resort. Our favourite was the ‘Kasakue’ or ‘Screw Pine’ (see picture above). We see these all over the Maldives with their bizarre root systems reaching down into the sand giving rise to their nickname – ‘Walking Trees’. Being one of our favourite tree, we keep an eye out to them and some of the best examples we saw at Hudhuranfushi.
Another place where they had great selection was their resort garden (one of the biggest in the Maldives) where they features unusual specimens like the ‘Num Num’ tree which produces a fruit at the base of its trunk used for traditional cooking (see picture at bottom). A very appropriate name for a delicacy producing tree I’d say. Hudhuranfushi also has it’s own Banana Grove that features 7 different varieties of bananas.
My wife’s favourite was the abundant ‘Temple Trees’ that bloom all year round with white and yellow flowers (see picture directly below). They are called ‘Temple Trees’ because worshippers would pick the flowers and take them to temples as a part of Buddhist tradition in the region.
I’m not going out on a limb to say if you appreciate the bio-diversity of a thriving tropical forest, then Hudhuranfushi is a treeat for you (I am not ashamed of these puns).