Friday, August 17, 2012

Tender Coconut in Thailand

In India we’re used to roadside vendors selling tender coconut. In Thailand, we experienced a slightly sophisticated way of marketing tender coconut. Sharing the details and pics in this post.

In India tender coconuts are seldom refrigerated. They’re left on the roadside and after few days they loose their taste as coconut meat grows thick and water quantity and taste goes down. In Thailand, tender coconuts are either refrigerated or lot of ice is thrown around tender coconuts. This may increase its shelf life, buts adds to cost. It is difficult to enjoy the taste of tender coconut water when it is super chill.
Also the tender coconut is shaved flat at its bottom. Top also chopped off and just one more cut is needed before serving. Because of this, they can be stacked easily and won’t rollover. In some shops we found that even the side is shaved considerably. Helps save space, but needs extra effort. In India, a temporary spoon is made by slicing the side of tender coconut. However, it appears Thai vendors are not much familiar with this idea. At many places we got steel spoons to eat the inside contents. (Also due to excessive chopping on the sides, no outer skin is left to make spoon from). To one vendor in Pattaya, I took his knife, sliced the side of the tender coconut and make a spoon for myself. He appeared delighted at this idea. Also they make a very big opening on top, wasting lots of meat underneath. May be they should try this Upadhya’s tender coconut opener.
Above: Tender coconut with bottom chopped off.
Below: Tender coconuts stored in freezer

Taste was very good. No complaints. They don’t throw the consumer coconut shell at the roadside, they’re packed well and taken back. 
How much do tender coconut cost in Thailand? tender coconut price in Thailand varies between 20 Baht to 40 baht. (INR 38 to INR 76, 2-3 times what it costs in India). 20 baht at Grand Palace, River Kwai etc, 40 baht at Wat Arun, 25 Baht in most other places. It was 3 Ringgits in Malaysia (INR 45 last year). There was no branding of coconut like this one
The trend of nicely marketing tender coconut is catching up in India as well. Coco Board in Hyderabad is trying out nice carts- read this post. I've seen them wrapped and being sold in our office canteen for twice the price. Bottled version of tender coconut are also available now. Taj Vivanta in Bengaluru sells tender coconut water as a juice item.

Long live the tender coconut.

Also read: Natural drinks for summer.


Janit said...

At 3 times the price of Indian coconut, (supposing it sells for an average of 15 rs across India) I think the effort in cutting and cold storage is well justified.

Also, have seen coconut water getting branded by a few companies in India (Satyam canteen in Hydi used to have one such stall), but don't think it has worked.

Saru Singhal said...

Wish could get these in US. I love it!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Janit: In Chennai tender coconut costs Rs 25-30 now. In Bangalore close to 18 Rs.

Saru: Yes, me too didn't spot any in US.

Sanand said...

Interesting post. Now I know what to expect of coconuts and their price variations when visiting Thailand.

AmitAag said...

...nice post:) enjoyed reading:)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Sanand and Amit

Nisha said...

Being a tropical country, coconut is in plenty in South east Asia. Glad that you wrote these details. :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Nisha: Thanks

Mani Kandan said...

Fantastic information. Thank you

Shrinidhi Hande said...


You are welcome