This morning, we were on a mission, and we had to get there before noon. On a hot summer day in Costa Rica, we were stalking the elusive Coconut Man. We’d heard he existed. We saw him from a taxi once, but several attempts to find him had been fruitless (or coconut-less). But now we were desperate. Both of our favorite shops in town were out of coconuts. Yesterday, a taxi driver had given us hope of finding him.

“He comes in the morning,” the taxi driver had said yesterday afternoon.

So, it was morning, and we had to get to the man with the little cart carrying a cooler full of coconuts. Walking down the hot, dusty road in the humid mid day in the dry season we were so thirsty. It didn’t take long. There, walking down the road, was a tanned, weathered man pulling a small cart with a cooler. Was it him?!

“Pipas! Agua de pipas.” YES, that means young coconuts! But he was still walking. We quickly crossed the street and purchased two of the most delicious, very cold coconuts. On he walked while we sipped the refreshing cold beverage.

Wait! We need more! We spun around, still sipping our coconuts, and pursued him. Gary said, “Hola”, and he kept going.

“Say pipas,” suggested Tami.

Tami drinking coconut water

“Pipas,” said Gary. And he turned around!

We all smiled. This time we bought four coconuts. One each to drink, and one each for later.

We sat down in the nearest shade, grinning from ear to ear and sipping cool coconut refreshment. Ahh… We were delighted. After we each finished our second coconut, we were prepared for the next step. Gary grabbed the coconut knife out of the backpack and cut them open. Our flimsy plastic spoons worked fine on the soft, jelly-like meat. We were beginning to feel very refreshed. It not only cools the mouth, but it hydrates, refreshes, and remineralizes the body. When we’re having a coconut, you can walk by with your ice cream cone and we’ll feel sorry for you.

There is nothing like a coconut.

With all the good minerals absorbing into our bodies, we began to think… We only have one more coconut each, and the day is young. Not only that, but there are no more coconuts in town. Just his coconuts.

By now he was long gone. But it’s not a big town. He probably goes down the road and maybe down the beach. Maybe we could find him.

Gary drinking coconut water

Is he at the beach? No. The road? No. The beach again? No… Wait! Is that him? YES! Catch him! Hurrying his way, we said “Pipas!” (young coconuts). He turned and stopped and smiled. We asked for four more. As we packed them in our backpack, we turned to each other with great delight, just as the coconut man looked our way.

I hope it made his day to see our delight, just as much as it made our day to buy so many delicious, refreshing coconuts.

Why were we so intent on getting coconuts? Three reasons. We FEEL the difference in ourselves. We logically know they’re good.

And they taste so good.

We’ve tried all kinds of vitamin pills and other supplements and couldn’t tell a difference. With coconuts, we can. We feel like we’re more alert, have more energy, our digestion gets better, and we feel more peaceful. We also seem to have less cravings.

The logical reasons: coconut water is a fantastic electrolyte drink. There are so many minerals, and it’s very hydrating. The meat also has many health benefits. It’s very high in lauric acid, which is found in mother’s milk as well. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. The fat in coconut meat is a medium-chain fat that can be directly converted to energy, unique among fats.

They taste SO good. When you get a good coconut, with tender, thin meat, the water is nicely sweet to to the taste. If you don’t like coconut water, mayby you didn’t get a good tender sweet one. If the meat is clear, it’s too young, and won’t taste good. If the meat is thick and crunchy, it’s very mature, and won’t taste good. Also make sure it’s fresh. The water and the meat should never be pink. Pink means it’s gone bad. Any time it has a funny taste, it could be going bad. But when you get a good one… ooohhhh!

You’ve got to love it.

And if you don’t, give it to us!

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