Foodstuff: Coconut Water

Coconut Water 1

Not that many years ago, you would have a hard time finding Coconut water, or coconut juice, on the shelves of our local stores but, nowadays, one can usually select from 6 or 8 different brands packaged in both cans and cartons. This relatively new trend is, I suspect, largely due to the product being touted as a ‘health beverage’ or ‘sport drink’, with all sorts of extravagant claims being made along those lines.

Coconut water is the clear juice inside coconuts and, though I have occasionally seen it referred to as ‘coconut milk’ that term is more properly reserved for the thicker preparation made with the pureed flesh. Coconut milk is widely used as a cooking ingredient, particularly in India and South-East Asia, and you will find a number of recipes employing it here at Sybaritica. The ‘water’, however, is primarily sold as a beverage but it does have its culinary uses too and that is what interests me the most…

Coconut Water 2

If you look at the cans in the first picture, you will see that two of them indicate that they contain pulp. The pulp-free variety is pictured in the glass at the right, where the water is much darker in color, and, at the right, you can easily make out some fairly large fragments of white flesh.

The water does not have a particularly strong aroma and the taste, while quite mild is quite obviously that of coconuts. One brand actually touts coconut water as being the ‘ideal thirst quenching’ beverage but I find it a bit insipid and too sweet for that. I like coconut in general but the canned water is not a particular favorite with me. If you get the opportunity to try it straight from the coconut however, you may find, as I do, that it has a nicer, almost tangy quality to it.

As I mentioned earlier, coconut water does have some culinary uses and it is sometimes used as a marinade for meat. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it may well work well with shrimp as well. In Vietnam, more specifically, it is used as a braising medium, especially for pork, and in the very near future I will be featuring this use in a recipe post. Stay tuned…

 

6 thoughts on “Foodstuff: Coconut Water”

  1. Coconut water appears to have become as popular in Australia also . . . have not tasted the bottled version [ours seems to come basically in glass] yet but seem to have won a case in some competition for Christmas. We’ll see 🙂 ! But I DO love the real stuff. I have been fortunate enough to spend countless holiday periods in private homes in Fiji where it was just a case of asking one of the gardeners to climb up, get one a coconut and open it: oh, on a hot day I remember pure magic!!!

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