While I am no fan of shredded coconut used in sweet and cakes, I do like the water, or buko juice and I love food cooked with the milk. On our beachfront block of land in Bagay, Northern Cebu, we have several coconut trees. My neighbour, a cousin or some kind, when I am not in town to keep him honest, poaches my nuts. He also makes ‘tuba’ (too-bah) from my trees. This is the potent fermented coconut sap spirit my wife claims tastes of cockroach and mouse poo. Let me explain.
The coconut tree has a flower that, if left, will turn into a coconut. What the locals do is cut some bamboo to make a tube, then they shimmy up the tree and cut into the flower so the sap drips into the tube. They usually do this in the late afternoon, then collect the tubes in the morning. Overnight, as the tube is left open to the elements, it is possible cockroaches and mice have scampered in and had a drink while relieving themselves. I reckon if the straining the next morning doesn’t clean it out, the alcohol content will kill off any impurities, anyway. This stuff is lethal, by the way. Consume at own risk and only if you know and trust the distiller.
Coconut Water yummy!
Coconut water is the clear liquid inside the young, or green coconuts. It becomes milk later on as it deposits itself (in the form of endosperm, you gotta love biology, right?) into the meat of the coconut inside the nut’s shell. Lately a lot of energy drinks have been making a big deal about how it is so good for you, but a lot of that is marketing hype as they struggle to find the latest next best thing to flog off.
It is high in potassium and minerals, antioxidants and cytokins which promote plant cell division and growth. There’s also L-arginine, ascorbic acid and magnesium in there. All good and in wartime they have used it as a plasma replacement, both in WW2 and in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s era. The bad news is it can kill you.
In India, particularly in the southern Tamil Naidu region, they get rid of unwanted old people by senicide, or a practise known as Thalaikoothal. They bathe the old boy in oil, then force feed him numerous glasses of coconut water which leads to renal failure and death in a day or two. So, if the brother/cousin/uncle of your new, 40 years your junior hot little asawa offers you a gallon of coconut water and a nice oil massage… Use your ‘buko’ and say ‘wala’!