Buko (Coconut)

I should have taken a picture yesterday but I was too hot and sweaty to think about it, so you’ll have to make do with a description of the first part, although I did find a photo that is similar but not quite the same.

There is an open air stand not very far from our house (unfortunately, it’s just past the worst curve in the road for walking with the Cherub- no shoulder, a serious blind spot because of a wall right on the edge of the road, bumpy road which she stumbles over or trips, and lots of traffic). But once you get to the vendor- there’s a pile of green coconut rind on the ground to the side, and a bit behind the vendor, a woman who looks to be in her 30s or 40s, but it’s hard to tell. She’s been in the sun a lot, but Asian genes also have been baptized in the Fountain of Youth, so I think everybody looks younger than they are.

She has a plastic canopy, I think, and is also kind of under a shade tree, behind a white plastic table in front of her with containers of plastic bags, white coconuts with the green rind hacked away by one of the two or three machetes she has on the table close to hand, a box of straws, and a container for the juice she sells.

In the picture I’ve shared of another vendeor, the differences are our vendor has a much smaller pile of husks and shells and trimmings, her table, if I recall correctly, is a modern white plastic folding table, her buko juice dispenser is also very modern- it chills the juice and has a large capacity and she dispenses juice from a spout in the front. She has clear plastic cups, and straws for those who prefer a coconut (buko) with a straw.

You can get 10 or 20 ounce cups of the buko juice, which will have moist, succulent, creamy strips of coconut in it and the drink tastes like she sugars it but I don’t know that she does.It’s cold and it is such an awesome thirst quencher when you’re hot and sweaty.

Now, I do not love drinks with texture and I have to chew jello, so I drink the juice, but strain mine with my teeth leaving the coconut pulp in the cup and then take the cup home and eat the coconut strips with a spoon. The Cherub and the HM just gulp theirs down.

If you prefer, she will hack off just enough of the white rind at the top to reach the softer, flavourful pith in a spot where you can insert a straw. She’ll provide the straw or you can be all I speak visayan like a boss and say something stupid and broken that translates roughly as I am a straw at my house, and she will look at you oddly and try not to laugh in your face and think for a second and realize you probably meant to say that you ‘*have* a straw at your house,’ and that you mean you don’t need to take one of her straws because you will drink the buko juice at home with your own straw.

So then she hacks away a chip at the top of the coconut, wraps it up first in the clear bag and then the blue one (one keeps it moist, the blue one has handles for easier carrying).

Then you pay her 85 pesos (about 1.70) for two mga buko (coconuts) about as big as bowling balls and three icy sweet delicious drinks, one larger than the other, or it would only be 75 pesos or about 1.50 USD. A single coconut generally produces a good two large glasses of juice, and then you scrape out the inside meat for more goodness.

Every time I have purchased coconut juice in a bottle in the US or tried buying a whole coconut (those hairy, hard brown shells at home), I find the meat is dry, dry, dry and the juice is bitter. The only time there’s been a hint of bitterness here is when I cut tasted a piece of the white/yellowish outer shell here and tasted it out of curiosity. You can’t even imagine the difference in flavor- pure, sweet, refreshing, clean.

I like mine chilled. So I take home the coconut, and put the buko in the fridge (still in the bags to keep it moist). After it’s well chilled, I insert my straw (if a helpful vendor has not hacked away to the soft part for me, I just poke a hole in the top with a philips screwdriver, but not too hard because if the screwdriver goes ALL the way in, it displaces the juice inside and you waste some. Plus, get it squirted in your face, oh, look a physics lessons but no thank-you).

So anyway, I drink my chilled buko juice feeling ever so decadent and spoiled and even guilty, like I don’t deserve this goodness and somebody is going to come along before too long and ask me who I think I am to partake of this nectar reserved for spiritual beings.

The Boy and I have a symbiotic relationship over coconut. I really like it all, but especially the juice, and he doesn’t like the juice at all (nor does my husband, lucky me), but he adores the meat. So. When I have slurped it all, I tell him the juice is gone so he can have the rest and he takes a big knife and hacks the thing in two and tells me we really need a machete and then he uses a spoon to scoop out the soft, juicy, delicious inside meat. Sometimes he cannot be bothered to hack it in half himself, and when I have to do the hacking I give the other half to the Cherub and sometimes I let him have half and sometimes I don’t. Mostly, he is willing to do the hacking. And the eating.

When he goes home I will have to do most of the hacking, but maybe that is when I will buy a machete.

vender pic from here: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/buko,coconut



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One Comment

  1. Cindy
    Posted May 19, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I concur with the boy. You need a machete. Everybody does. We have two, but no coconuts. 😉

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