Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brazil II - Agua de Coco

Another one of nature's magical gifts from the palm tree is coconut water. Brazilians take full advantage of the bounty of fresh coconuts, and there are 'Agua de Coco' stands on every corner of Rio de Janeiro. It's common to see joggers finish their run at one of these stands where they rehydrate the natural way. Some people even ask the vendor to split the coconut in half, after drinking the water, so that they can scoop the meat out for a snack.

So far, I have had at least one cocunut per day. What I like most about the coconuts in Rio, as opposed to the young thai coconuts we get in the states, is that the Brazilians leave them in their green husk. It bothers me so much that, in America, they come stripped of the husk and then dipped in formaldehyde so that the white fibers don't turn brown. Why can't we keep them in their natural state? And, since I'm asking, why aren't there coconut kiosks in Central Park and along the Hudson river promenade?


  1. Oh James! Such ideas you have :-) The closest I get to coconut water over here is a carton of Dr Martins organic coconut water which is, I believe, raw and preserved. I hadn't heard about the formaldehyde. Surely it would be MUCH easier to leave them in the green ... and pretty too. Do please have a coconut for me! Antony :-)

  2. It's very popular to sell young thai coconuts at health food stores in the US. You don't have them in the UK? They look like this:

    I have to admit that they look pretty, but you have to be careful when opening them, so as not to contaminate the water with the chemicals that are used to keep the shell white. Ick!

  3. james, i have yet to have a proper coconut! ... i need to find some online i think ... every young coconut i've tried (granted, only a couple) had gone bad ... i want a coconut water stand in my neighborhood! ... (hope you had a great time on your trip :) ... xoxo

  4. Oh, my gosh, I am so jealous!!!