Today, coconut is a common food, whether baked in a cake, stirred into a curry, or eaten fresh from the shell. Because it is possible to buy coconuts at nearly any supermarket or grocery store, they are not considered especially rare or unusual. But this has not always been the case.
Coconut palms are not native to Europe, and in the past coconuts were imported or traded from faraway places in Asia and the new world. The rarity, cost, and exotic nature of coconut shells meant that they were often treated as precious materials and mounted with silver, gold, enamels, or jewels. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, coconuts were often included in treasuries and chambers of wonders.
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