Before I start today, I wanted to let everyone know that I had the opportunity to guest post over at “Diana’s Costa Rica Blog”. Diana, and I have so much in common, it’s pretty amazing. Check out my contribution at: http://dianascostaricablog.blogspot.com/…On with the show!
So I know coconut water is a “thing” back home.
I have read all about it. You know, electrolytes, post-workout charge up, hot yoga beverage of choice, magical elixir etc…I get it, but I just can’t do it.
Any time that I’ve thought about jumping on the band wagon, I’ve bought a little tetra pack, taken a swig, and then thrown it out. To me, it tastes like garbage swamp water.
That is, until I discovered the magic that is fresh coconuts on the beaches of Costa Rica.
I feel like I have the process of buying a “pipa” down to an art form. Since it’s becoming pretty much a daily occurrence for me, I figured I would share it with you guys.
In most towns you can find locals selling coconuts on the beach, but they are not all created equal. In Tamarindo for instance, most of the pipa sellers carry pre-shucked coconuts around in buckets of water. These coconuts are fine, but I find they don’t taste as fresh, and are often warm from being lugged around the beach all day.
To really get a delicious pipa experience, you want to look for a vendor who is selling the whole coconuts, the ones that still have their green outer shell on them. I’ve found the best ones are often sold out of the back of pick up trucks, and are kept in coolers of ice. If you find one of these, you are in business.
So, you have located a pipa truck…now what? Well, the magic words “Una pipa, porfavor” will get you what you need. Get your 500 colones ($1), ready, and watch the magic unfold.
In these photos Carlo, my favourite Pipa seller in Playa Coco, brandished a gigantic machete, and carefully lopped off the top of the coconut. He worked fast, and managed to make a small little hole in the top without losing a drop of the delicious coconut water inside. It is an impressive sight to watch.
Just like that you have some delicious coconut water to enjoy. It tastes so fresh, and crisp compared to what you buy back home. It’s the perfect perk up after a long afternoon in the sun. I always start by eating the little bit of coconut meat on the “lid” of the coconut, and then dive into the water.
So at this point, sit back, relax, and enjoy, but don’t go far! There is more fun to be had!
Lots of people will just throw the coconut out once they’ve finished the water, but if you are looking for a little snack, and some healthy fats, the coconut meat is a great snack.
Head back to your pipa vendor, and he/she will help you out!
First they cut one of the hard ends off. This will become the spoon. Then they give the centre of the coconut one big schwack with their machete. Using a baton, they continue to hit the blade until it breaks the coconut in half. It is a violent process, and an impressive feat.
Using the little spoon they created at the start, they scrape the meat loose from both sides of your coconut, and pour it all into one of the halves.
And just like that, you have a beautiful little treat for your afternoon!
Pipa’s are one of the many things I have found during my travels that feel like a treat, but still keep me healthy. And at $1 a pop, you just can’t go wrong! Just remember, they will always taste best when consumed while enjoying the view of the beach!
Do you like coconut water? Have you tried fresh coconut?
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