There they are a-standin' in a row.
Canned ones, glass ones, some with odd floaty bits
I'll do a review, and when I am through,
I'll probably call it quits.*
It has been my observation that people feel strongly about coconut. I'm fond of it, myself--macaroons are good, and a nice Mounds bar** always lifts my spirits. The Kibbitzer-in-Chief, on the other hand, loathes coconut. She will break into headlong, panicked flight at the appearance of pina colada Jelly Bellies.
Being who I am, my first impulse upon preparing to write this group of reviews was to do some reading about coconuts. I learned that they are fruits rather than nuts***, and that not many people are killed by falling coconuts each year. Apparently, the "coco" part of the name probably refers to a type of boogeyman in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking cultures, which would abduct or devour disobedient children. The three "eyes" of the coconut look something like a skull, or somehow were reminiscent of this mythical tool of frustrated parents.
We can be glad that our name for this fruit derives from Romance languages, as I guess the Anglicized equivalent could well have been "Boogeyfruit".
In any case, presumably because they are terrified of the slight resemblance between the intact fruit and a mythical monster of Portuguese folklore, some people don't like coconut. (Personally, I think it would be kind of empowering to take something which resembled the head of a feared childhood image, crack it open, and feast on the innards****. But maybe that's just me.) Anyway, there are a number of Weird beverages which are based, partially or entirely, on coconut. Many are not carbonated, and thus not technically soda. There is precedent for this variation within the Lab's mission, however, so we will forge ahead.
Today, we are reviewing four coconut-based beverages. The first two are a pair of juice-based beverages from the "Amy & Brian" label. I'm not sure what to make of Amy & Brian; the graphic depicts two silhouettes of people engaged in some sort of funkified movement, presumably induced by their enjoyment of coconut juice.
|The funkification of Amy and Brian lends a certain sincerity to this beverage.|
Lets begin by quaffing the first of the pair, Amy & Brian All NAtural Coconut Juice. According to the ingredients label, this is, in fact, just coconut juice. It also claims to be an "isotonic" beverage, which in physiology terms means that it has a similar overall amount of dissolved "stuff" as your body's blood plasma and extracellular fluid (aka Human Juice). Good to know.
Where and when: Purchased sometime in 2011 at Frazier Farms market, Vista, CA
Color: Unexected. I guess I was expecting this to pur out looking like coconut milk; instead, it's mostly transparent, slightly cloudy, and a tiny bit yellow. Actually, it looks a bit like blood plasma. Considering its claim to be isotonic, this is a bit upsetting.
Scent: Sweet, unexpectedly musky and acidic. The musk is actually quite strong in the scent. Again, not what I expected, and not much like coconut meat.
LAT: "Ewww! It smells disgusting."
Wyvern: "Awww! *cough* I think I'm going to choke."
LAT: "Smells kind of like pumpkin."
Taste: Hmmm...gluh. The initial taste is sweet and musky, reminiscent of cantaloupe. There's a moderate amount of saltiness behind it. Kind of tastes like sweat, actually.
The aftertaste, coming in around 7-8 seconds, is not an improvement. Salty and earthy. I keep sipping from the cup, trying to get more of the fairly pleasant initial taste, but it keeps going away.
I'll give it this: it has interest and complexity. This is not a simple taste by any means; I am getting a full experience with this bit of Weirdness.
About a minute later, the aftertaste is fading (which is good). To my surprise, I am left feeling kind of good about it. I don't really have an explanation for that; I'd say 65% of the quaffing experience was unpleasant. Yet now, afterwards, I am going to voluntarily sip it again.
Ugh. That was a mistake; it's worse now. The initial melon-y is accompanied by a sharp salty/sour taste which is quite icky.
This one feels dangerous. I fear that as I let this sip settle, I'll want more. If the next one has continued to worsen, it might go badly for me.
I actually feel a teeny tiny stomach clench whenever I first sip this. Yet still, there's something satisfying after it. It just takes a minute or so to get there.
How odd. I'm really not sure what to make of this one. I don't think I've ever had something which actually made me ever-so-slightly nauseated, yet left me thinking about having more--not even Moxie.
LAT: *tentative sip* "That's not that bad.
LAT: "Kind of like a liquid, watery pumpkin. Not bad."
Quaff rating: 3. It has an interesting and complex taste, I have to admit it.
Cough rating: 3. Anything which actually makes me grimace has to get a 3 at least.
* The other version ended in the line "I'll probably have the..."
Er. Well, you may not need me to fill in the blank.
** But not the accursed Almond Joy, for it has almonds, and those are unworthy. Apparently, on the "Feel like a nut" vs. "Don't feel like a nut" scale, I am firmly in the "Don't" side. This will probably come as a surprise to anyone who has observed my behavior or read anything Ive ever written.
*** Somehow, the advertising "Sometimes you feel like a fruit. Sometimes you don't." never caught on.
**** My childhood fear was of the kitchen clock; I had a recurring nightmare in which the hands stretched out and grabbed me, and I was eaten. It would probably be less tasty than a coconut, so this avenue of resolving childhood terrors is unavailable to me. Alas.