Last week I asked: What bread is commonly served in the tropics?
I have read many articles about the health benefits and uses of coconut milk and oil.
It is touted as being a lactose-free, vegan milk substitute that can be used in a variety of ways including as a dairy substitute used in coffee, ice cream, smoothies and in variety of recipes including many Thai curry dishes.
John and I have enjoyed many curry dishes and breads in several countries that are made with coconut milk.
Coconuts are rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 plus minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Coconut oil is versatile.
Besides the many uses in the kitchen it is a skin moisturizer, can reduce skin winkles, when mixed with baking soda it becomes a toothpaste, can soothe an irritated throat, and many other uses.
When John and I were in Saipan we learned how to make Tatizas (Chamorro snack made with coconut milk).
Tatizas are popular with the Chamorro people.
By the way, the Chamorro people are the indigenous people of the Marianas.
The Mariana Islands include Guam, a US territory, and the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Coconut bread is also found in many other places especially in the tropics.
In Jamaica they make a pocket and stuff it with various fillings.
In Honduras ladies with a wicker basket filled with coconut bread and rolls are often seen peddling them on the beaches.
The Marianas are an excellent destination and often overlooked by tourists, especially those on the East Coast.
When we visited we bought the least expensive air ticket to Asia and then used our frequent flyer miles to fly to Guam.
From Guam it was a short flight to Saipan; and, from Saipan the flight toTinian is very short.
The takeoff for the flight from Saipan to Tinian is longer than the actual flight.
The Marianas are a good choice for those looking for a relaxing, beach stay.
In fact, it is a favorite honeymoon destination for Japanese and Koreans.
There is plenty to keep history buffs busy.
It is thought that the earliest people arrived about 6,000 years ago and the islands were critical during World War II.
We enjoyed tatizas while at the Hyatt in Saipan where we learned how to make them by watching the chef as he prepared them.
It is rather easy.
4 cups flour
1?2 cup sugar
1 1?2 teaspoons baking powder
1?3 cup shortening
1 can coconut milk
Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder.
Then add shortening to the mix with a fork.
Add coconut milk and mix well using your hands.
If dough is too dry, add one Tbsp of water at a time until dough is a little moist and holds together enough to make a ball.
From the big ball of dough and then make six to eight mini dough balls.
Roll out dough balls on a floured board until thin.
Place rolled out dough in pan over medium heat (do not add oil or butter to pan) but you can brush with coconut oil if you want for more even browning.
A cast iron pan or griddle is preferred.
Use a fork to poke out any air bubbles.
Brown on both sides.
They can be served as is or get creative; they pair well with many things.
Travel Trivia Tease™: What place was the most intensely bombed place during World War II?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!