I drank fresh coconut water right out of the coconut (ridiculously refreshing) at Melissa’s Produce, a company out of California, that brings all sorts of unusual fruits and vegetables to supermarkets around the country. Sometimes known as a Fire Coconut, these coconuts are a product of Vietnam. Here’s what Melissa’s website says about them: “The fertile Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam is notorious for being the “Land of Coconuts”. The rich soil of the area produces a coconut known for its mildly sweet flavor and accounts for 40% of the country’s commercial production. Coconut is a staple ingredient of Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam’s southern style of cooking, where coconut water and coconut milk are used extensively in curries and other savory dishes. Coconuts are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Coconut nourishes the skin as well as helps to boost metabolism. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and potassium, making it a much healthier alternative to sports drinks that contain artificial sugars or color. For quick drinking right out of the shell, Melissa’s Fresh Coconuts are conveniently labeled to indicate exactly which eye to punch with a straw (yes, it is that easy).”
I also tasted Cotton Candy Grapes (that yes, have a marked cotton candy flavor) as well as a ripe Jackfruit (reminded me of a cross between mango and papaya, very tasty) which Robert Schueller, Melissa’s Produce expert told me has been used as a meat substitute in vegan pulled pork recipes (there is one on their website). The seeds can be roasted and eaten and have a flavor like roasted chestnuts.