It would not be an exaggeration to say that I am Koo-Koo for coconuts. I love everything about them–the milk, the water, the oil, and, of course, the white “meat,” all of which is heavily utilized in Sri Lankan cooking. Until recently, the coconut’s highest profile in the west most probably came in candy bar form–either Mounds or Almond Joy (or for you Brits, a Bounty). But today you see coconut water everywhere. Whether due to a Hollywood trend or health craze, numerous brands of coconut water have hit the market with a vengeance, and while it’s great that it’s finally available here, paying $2.50 for a 16 oz. carton, is, well, slightly loco.
What if I were to tell you that you can get this stuff all over the streets of Sri Lanka–and sip it straight out of its natural container–for only about 40 cents a pop. Not only that, but the soft, jelly-like lining of this fruit (not botanically classified as a nut), is also yours to enjoy, gratis. In fact, in Sri Lanka, the man who cuts open your king coconut with a huge machete will also fashion a spoon from the outer shell so you can scrape out the delicious innards.
I have always heard that coconut water is supposed to be an excellent health tonic, filled with electrolytes. It’s prescribed for a variety of ailments in Sri Lanka including upset stomach. Did you know that in a pinch, it may even be used in a drip as IV fluid? But all that aside, I don’t drink 3 or 4 coconuts a day when I’m in Sri Lanka for my health. I drink it because it tastes bloody good as well as being so refreshing on a hot, humid, tropical day. And did I mention it only costs about 40 cents? Come to Sri Lanka and I’m buying. Thambily for everybody!