Why in the world would anyone want to drink fresh coconut water (coco frio)? Well, life in the Caribbean is much different than in the mainland US or most everywhere for that matter. The main differences could be pointed to the weather, the people, the food and the attitude.
The weather for the most part is fabulous. In spite of the heat and humidity in the summer months and the occasional hurricanes that can be downright cruel and unusually inhumane, for the most part it is sunny and warm. Don’t worry because there’s always a cool breeze gently blowing its way through. The Caribbean is absolutely glorious. Especially so when you have experienced the cold, brutal winters that are thankfully void in the Caribbean.
Because of high unemployment (some because of the lackluster economies and some that choose to just live life as simple as they can) there are numerous street vendors. You’ll find them especially near the resorts, beachfront and tourist areas. Some see them as a nuisance. Others view them as part of the Caribbean experience. Personally, I love to support them and their families rather than more established conventional businesses whenever I can.
The “Coco Frio Man”
One of my favorite vendors is the “Coco Frio Man” (cold coconut) vendors by name, at least in the Spanish speaking countries like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The Coco Frio man usually stands at the side of the road with a cooler, truck or shopping cart full of coconuts. The more established vendors have a sign that reads “COCO FRIO” which translated means coconuts cold, but actually means ice-cold refreshment.
Besides being so refreshing and good for you, the ice cold coconut water, “Coco Frio” is the treasure. The experience however is the entire treasure chest. When you stop, the “Coco Frio Man” starts and the show begins. If you’re lucky enough to find the right opportunity you can watch them climb the tree and appreciate the entire process. Please click on this link posted by “The Wooded Beardsman”. If you haven’t heard of him you should definitely consider following him. He has great videos and content on all sorts of outdoor wilderness experiences.
I used to think “coconut milk” came from the inside of coconuts, but the coconut milk you buy in the can is a mix of sugar and the meat of a coconut strained through cheese cloth. The inside of the coconut is coconut water, a clear liquid. It tastes coconutty, a little bit like fruit, and a little bit like fresh water. It’s best when served chilled. If you feel the need to add a splash or two of any local rum, please let your freak flag fly!
How to properly prepare coco frio.
There is quite the art to being able to properly prepare a coconut for a refreshing tasty treat. Learn how to open a coconut and impress your friends. 1. With one hand, steady the coconut at the rounded end and tilt the opposite end downward. 2. Use a very sharp machete in your other hand, hack at the pointier end of the coconut at a sharp angle. 3. Slowly decrease the angle of the coconut to create a notch in the husk. 4. Repeat this process to create a larger and larger notch in the husk until you have opened a hole in the inner nut. 5. Drink it right from the coconut or insert a straw and have at it!