Published on February 17th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard


The Latest Elixir of Life!

What’s the deal with coconut water?

It’s everywhere.

When I first heard my foodie mates extolling the benefits of coconut water I thought it was one of those enigmatic ingredients only epicureans knew how to use.

“Apparently we can bake with it, cook rice with it, and make smoothies with it – even drink it plain.”

But now everyone’s on the coconut water bandwagon, talking about it as though it were a common component of their kitchen. (When I say everybody is talking about it, I generalise. You might not be. You might be like me, always lagging behind when it comes to new trends.)

I even saw coconut water in cans on the supermarket shelf yesterday; in the Asian section, top shelf. But there it was, out and loud and proud.

Now that coconut water is readily available in Coles and Woolworths – it’s been readily available inside a coconut for thousands of years…but what does that count? – it can no longer call itself mysterious.

Coconut water is that thin, insipid stuff in the middle of the coconut – ignored by most of us for years.

But now some health guru has pronounced it low fat, healthy, nutritious, rich in potassium and electrolytes (whatever they are) and so good at hydrating our organs, we must all embrace it.

Apparently we can bake with it, cook rice with it, and make smoothies with it – even drink it plain.

Coconut water has given me cause to reflect on products that have come and gone in our lives. Quinoa is one of the latest to arrive and have its 15 minutes of fame.

(It’s pronounced keen-wah by the way, and you can thank me for that bit of information next time you’re reading a menu out loud in a restaurant and want to feel superior to your mates.)

Goji berries are also having their turn in the spotlight at the moment.

If you are of a certain age, you might wonder what your mum would have thought of quinoa, goji and coconut water. She was happy with a big fat lump of white lard. She could make it last forever and do wonders with it: fry up a big breakfast, bake cakes, clog up the arteries of her entire family.

Mothers of yesteryear were content to have a pantry filled with custard powder, ordinary flour, junket tablets, bicarbonate of soda, plain cocoa, icing sugar, (they used that a lot), currants, jelly crystals, sultanas, pearl barley, mustard powder, raisins, oats, cinnamon, rice (one kind only) and Spam.

Oh yes, and a ginger beer plant in the linen cupboard.


About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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