Kelly Choi, Top Chef Masters host and winner of a New York Emmy for hosting Eat Out NY, will be sharing her love of all things food with OK! every week!
If you haven’t yet heard of the many benefits of this food yet, you will, because it’s getting to be trendy. Madonna and Demi Moore love it. Gisele Bündchen drinks its juice. And I can’t get enough of the stuff, especially when the weather is warm.
It’s the young coconut fruit, and it’s ambrosial and addictive.
This week’s Top Chef Masters episode features our master chefs creating a dish inspired by the Greek gods and goddesses. Some of their Food of the Gods dishes were extraordinary, and others weren’t (namely Susan Feniger’s). But all this talk about food that’s ethereal and sent from the heavens made me think of the young coconut.
Be sure to get this part right, 'cause it’s not the mature, hard, brown rind coconut that I’m talking about. The young coconut’s shell is lime green and when it’s peeled back, the fruit is encased by an off-white cover. This part has to be hatcheted away to reveal the coconut’s clear water and soft, almost jelly-like coconut ‘meat.’ It tastes mildly sweet and its texture is slippery and sensual, and it’s loaded with electrolytes and nutrients. So much so that during the Pacific War in the 1940s, young coconut water was used to give emergency blood plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
I hate food fads and I think most of them are pretty ridiculous, but this is one where the ingredient itself is worth taking a second look, and repeated tastes. For now, you can buy young coconut water in prepackaged containers like O.N.E. and Vita Coco, and some better juice bars carry the fresh young coconut imported from Thailand or Brazil. Get the water siphoned straight out of the shell if you can. Of course, you can also order the fruit online if you are that inspired.
Try the meat and water in a smoothie, blend the fruit with mangoes or pineapple or make a creamy pudding — your palate (and your complexion) will thank you.
It’s really a versatile fruit. And to me, a food gifted from the Gods.
Remember to Tweet me!
Tune in to Top Chef Masters on Bravo every Wednesday at 10 p.m ET/PT.