Why am I drinking two coconuts? Please join me on the Road to Hana…
I had a few must-do’s in Maui. I wanted to eat/drink a coconut from a stand on the side of the road. Luckily, I got to do it along the Road to Hana. In Maui, there is a small town called Hana which is on the far east side of the island. It is often referred to as the old Hawaii since it hasn’t been developed like the rest of the island. Known as the Road to Hana, it is a stretch of approximately 50 curvy miles that takes you through a tropical rainforest with the Pacific Ocean keeping you company.
When I saw this coconut stand, well, this was where I would have my coconuts. So it was two for $5, so I opted for the two different types (I didn’t even know there was two types). The first one was a young/tender coconut, which is not like the typical brown ones we are accustomed to, basically it’s green before it becomes the hard, brown version we all know.
The fellow slicing and dicing the coconuts, well, let’s just say it was not his first day on the job. Wielding a massive knife that I’ve seen cut down sugar cane, he just got down to business. First, he chose a good coconut (or so he said), then he hacked the top off of it. The tender coconut is very heavy and thick, so it took a bunch of whacks to get to the middle. And then of course, using the same knife, he dug a little hole for the straw.
The “water” of the tender coconut was simply magical. Close your eyes and imagine sitting by the Pacific Ocean, sipping out of a coconut and tasting sweet water. Once I was done the water, I was able to ask the fellow with the big machete to slice it open so I could taste the flesh on the inside. The “meat” of the coconut was soft and chewy and didn’t really taste like anything. But I would have asked for a gallon of the liquid if I could have!
Next was the ripe, brown coconut that we all picture when we think of coconut. Well, I was disappointed, the coconut water was bitter and murky and really not that good. I drank more than I should, just to make sure I was giving it a fair chance and the taste did not change. Once I was done the liquid, I asked for it to be split open. And than, I almost witnessed a man slice off his own hand! Coconut in one hand, machete in the other, he proceeded to strike the coconut while tossing it in the air to rotate it so he could get an even cut to open it up. Again, like I said, not his first day on the job!
The inside of the coconut looked familiar and I immediately pictures shredded coconut and that’s essentially what it tasted like, minus the additional sugar. It was good, but there was no way I was going to eat all of it. It was the perfect thing to nibble on during the drive, but it was given back to mother nature for some little creature to enjoy.
A great day with sun, good food and friends driving the open road.
A thank you to Leslea for some pictures along the way!