Traditional foods from the Cocos Keeling Islands 1


COCOS Keeling Islands, first discovered in 1609 were not inhabited until 1826 when Englishman Alexander Hare established a settlement on them. They are a typical coral atoll, the main two islands, Home Island and West Island are populated by around 600 people. The population consists of mainly Cocos Malay who were brought to the islands when the Clunies Ross established copra plantations. It is only since the Australian Government’s purchase of the remaining interests in the Islands in 1979 that the Cocos Malays have had extensive contact with the West Island. Home Island is mainly comprised of 470 Cocos Malay while West Island comprises of mainly 150 employees of various Australian Government Departments.
For over 160 years The Cocos Malays harvested a majority of their own foods, fish, sea salt, noni juice, coconut flower nectar and honey. Tony Lacy of Cocos Tropical Foods, a former wine maker has moved to the Islands with his family and is helping to re-establish some of their traditional food products. The aim is to encourage local producers to grow and process their artisan foods and to invigorate their local community which has an unemployment level of 65%.
For further information see Tony Lacy’s Yengari web site and the Cocos Tropical Foods


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