It had started with my discovery of Triple 1, the Cinderella of Somerset Road, which I mentioned in a post and with that, the discovery of Imperial Treasure Windows on Hong Kong.
It was after my first satisfactory lunch at Windows on HK that then led me to the new Fairprice Finest outlet at one corner of Triple 1. Nowhere near as complete in product range as FF in Thomson Plaza or Bukit Timah Plaza but I found something that made my household drool and wanting more.
Triple 1’s FF had on offer Botak coconuts at $1 each, down from I don’t know what, since it’s not a regular item. I bought enough for all at home.
If I had any reservations about the price — implying that the product was being gotten rid of in a hurry — I was wrong.
We found the cocounts had plentiful amount of good juice and the flesh very tender but not so tender that there was no bite — you know, the translucent sort which turns almost to water as you scrape it off the inner shell.
So we were hooked, and everyone wanted more but over many days, we never got to go back to Triple 1. Mum’s maid while shopping at the wet market even called back to report sighting botak coconuts.
Be4 I said “buy”, I asked her to check the price. $2 each? Forget it.
However, the longer we went without, the more we kept thinking about that delicious taste of Botak’s flesh and juice.
So much so that the next time I saw what I thought was Botak coconut at Fairprice’s Square 2 outlet, I immediately bought several “Botak” coconuts, even though the labels just declared them as Thai coconuts and despite the fact that they were priced at $1.65 each, 65% higher than what i last paid.
When I got home, mum’s Picky Siti triumphantly declared them to be the wrong type, not Botak. She was proven right. Although there was plentiful juice, the flesh was tough, almost tough enough for grating — what one commonly calls “lau yah”, old coconut or Chinese slang for “lousy”.
At that point Picky Siti gave me a lesson in picking the right Botak coconut, not from a tree but from a supermarket chiller.
1) Botak coconuts are truly botak with all the husk removed
2) Botak coconuts’ tops are not cut for easy opening, unlike the coconuts (on the left of the picture below) and which I had bought mistaking them for Botaks.
3) Botak coconuts’ tops aren’t cut but could be easily prised open with a gentle tap.
4) There are all versions of coconuts in the supermarket and if they are marketed as young, Thai or fresh coconuts, they aren’t Botak coconuts.
I’m now well versed in coconut lore. Pity, I haven’t been able to find Botaks at bargain basement prices lately but I shall keep looking.