World, I am onto you. For the past few years everyone has been playing an elaborate prank, willingly proliferating a sham, designed to make me feel like the odd woman out for not liking one highly specific and completely gross beverage. But I’ve had enough. And today I say loudly and proudly once and for all: Boxed coconut water is garbage and I refuse to take part in the sick charade any longer.
I wanted very much to like coconut water. Bougie food trends and I generally get along very well. Cold-pressed juice? Yes, please. Nitrate-free bacon? Load my plate up. My Twitter is a veritable smorgasbord of bad jokes about concord grapes.I gladly pay for small artisanal chocolate bars. Coconut water, I thought, was a natural fit for my culinary proclivities. Healthy, a little weird, and seemingly versatile? Sign me up.
But lo, how wrong I was! For I met my match in coconut water.
The only thing that keeps me from running through the streets in protest, gnashing my teeth, and demanding President Obama himself put an end to this embarrassment of a beverage, is that I’ve never actually spent money on it. I’d been eyeing those weirdly shaped cartons for a few months when, in 2013, I finally got a chance to see what all the fuss was about. It was at a free music festival, which was being sponsored by both a moonshine company and a coconut water company. Can you imagine a more unholy pairing than that? No, because one doesn’t exist and you know it deep down in your heart.
In the VIP tent (which we got into because we made a donation, not because we are very important), my husband and I were offered thimble-sized samples of moonshine and straight up full bottles of coconut water. That should have been my first clue that coconut water was not as delightful as the public at large would have me believe.
At first, I was so pleased! “This is supposed to be really good,” I told my husband, taking the offered plain and orange flavored drinks. “People love this stuff!”
But as soon as I took a sip, I knew it was all lies. First, the texture. It was nothing like the life-giving and refreshing liquid I was expecting. Despite flowing, it was viscous and abhorrent, the kind of texture you imagine any beverage consumed in one of the American Horror Story houses having.
Then, as my terror mounted, I realized it was salty. Salty! Never in my life have I craved a salty beverage. Imagine eating salty orange pulp …. Okay, stop. I’m sorry I made you do that.
Staring at the small collection of still unopened coconut water bottles on our table and eyeing the woman near us who clearly thought she could foist more of this “water” on us before the day was through, I saw the truth. That coconut water is the zenith of foods we tell ourselves we like because they are trendy, yet are disgusting to the max. Coconut water is the bad guy in every after school special, lurking just off school grounds saying, “Everyone else is into it. You don’t want to be weird, do ya? I can sell you some right now.” We know in our hearts that coconut water is wrong, but still we insist the high potassium content and supposedly hydrating magic make it worth it. Meanwhile, coconut water is mocking us, all of us, as it rides the wave of our faux-love directly into our smoothies, juices, baking, and gym bags.
But to that I say nay! Boxed coconut water, I see you and I tried you and I don’t like you. Not one bit. You are salty, slimy, and the least refreshing beverage imaginable. Get back into that coconut and stay there.