Monday, July 2, 2012

Conversation at Hilo Farmer's Market

Last Saturday, I went to the Farmer’s Market for fresh veggies. In a corner stall - great location to attract attention from potential customers - I watched a young man hacking away at what turned out to be young coconuts. No hard brown shell yet, that delicious flesh not developed.

He used a machete to slice the coconuts from the stem,

whack off the top in pieces until a small hole was apparent. All his movements had a ballet-like quality. A small crowd had gathered to watch. 

A young woman took many of the opened coconuts and poured the clear “water” into a large glass jar. I had to lock up my bike, but stopped frequently to take pictures. The young man said to me, “You look hot. Would you like a drink?” I’d never had coconut water before, a new experience - sure I’ll try it. It was delicious, the flavor was quite mild and there was a surprising amount of liquid inside. As I stood there sipping away and taking more pictures, I asked the young woman what she was going to do with her coconut water, she had a second large jar also waiting to be filled. She said she added bacteria to it. Bacteria? She said it was delicious that way. Hmmm. It looked like it would take about 8 coconuts to fill her jar.
Finally I asked the young man if he was giving away the coconut water for free. “Oh no, I charge $3 for each coconut. But for you … it’s free.” What a nice thing to do - thanks! The “aloha spirit.”


  1. The humble coconut has many many uses and many diferent ways of eating at different stages of its growth.Such as the Millionaires Salad. They basically cut the heart out of a young plant near the base, killing the palm. It is also a very good timber for building. You will never forget the smell of drying coconut , a huge business in the South Pacific, and quite possibly some Hawaiian islands.
    You get so much good info Arlette, great reading.

  2. I love coconut every which way it's used, and especially in deliciouis icecream and of course in the delectable Pina Colada. In Oz we call it coconut milk. But once in Cairns, I drank the milk from a green coconut, and it wasn't long before I had serious stomach ache. Maybe you'll get to see a local climbing a tree to collect coconuts - they make it look so easy. The weather looks superb Arlete..............Marion