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Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Day" of Coconut #4: Micoco

There are Weird sodas which make you want to quaff them with desperate longing. Somewhere out there, there's a cherry-pear-vanilla cream soda, moderately carbonated, with cane sugar and agave. It'll taste like summer. It will swirl opalescently in the glass bottle, glowing faintly with its own inner radiance. That is the Ultimate Weird Soda, and I will someday approach it at sunset, winding my horn, to do some unimaginable final Quaffing.

Then there are Weird sodas which you have to quaff despite the fact that they are almost certainly going to be vile. To quaff all that is quaffable is your calling, and that includes the barely-quaffable but very Weird. These are the ones which, once you have recovered, find you clinging to a spare bit of furniture, gnashing your teeth and bemoaning the fate which led you to open that bottle/can/crate/whatever.

And then there are the ones which simultaneously intrigue and frighten you. They might be okay. They might even be good, but that's not why you have them. You have them because there was something compellingly Weird about them, something which compels you. You can't look away. You find yourself coming back to them, imagining the quaffing to come.

I invite you to look at this, Micoco, the fourth and last of the coconut-based sodas on this ever-lengthening Day of Coconut, and see which you think it is.

Errrr....that had better not be backwash.

Keep in mind when looking at that picture that those floating bits of...stuff...don't move. Ever. I think that's what I noticed first about Micoco; the floating bits are perfectly motionless. They must be almost perfectly neutrally buoyant. I'm not sure what to make of that. I had this bottle of Micoco in the Lab fridge for weeks, and they didn't settle to the bottom. As far as I could tell, they didn't shift at all.

I did consider the possibility that the liquid part of the Micoco was more of a gel, and was holding them in place--but no, when you swirl the bottle, they move. They then gradually settle into a new configuration, and stay there, holding perfectly still. There's an almost Zen-like quality about them; points of perfect stillness, neither sinking nor rising, but simply existing in their place. They are neither immobile nor mobile; they move when their surroundings move, let return to a state of equilibrium immediately when their bottle becomes still.

I thought about heating the bottom and seeing if I could get it to act like a circulating glitter lamp, but feared doing so might alter the taste.

In any case, this is a Weird phenomenon, and so I'm gonna quaff it. I have this image of bits of (presumably) coconut pulp floating, perfectly motionless, in my digestive tract, being slowly moved along. Perhaps I will acquire some of that stillness.

Where and when: Appeared in a mysterious flash of blue light on the Lab table, March 2011*.
Color: Cloudy, ever-so-slightly yellow-gray, transparent enough to observe the floating bits of coconut pulp and their unsettling immobility.
Scent: Wow. Very weird. Not really sweet at all-faint, slightly bready or even meaty. More like pot roast, maybe? With potatoes.
JAT: "It doesn't really smell like anything, just a slightly limey-coconut."
K-i-C: *extravagant grimace* "I was thinking slightly of spitup. Not vomit, mind you."
Me: "So like baby spitup?"
K-i-C: "Yeah."
LAT: "I see what the K-i-C is saying. I liked it better smelling it through the bottle."
K-i-C: "That's because you couldn't smell it as much."

The smell is pretty foul, actually. I don't get spitup--I still think it's more like a roast potato--but I see what she means.

Taste: K-i-C: *immediately spits it back into the cup*
LAT: "Almost...kind of...creamy. Kind of creamy starch? Ewwww."
Ugh. The texture is fairly thick, slightly syrupy but not sticky. The taste is much sweeter than the smell. Tastes a little bit like pancake batter.
LAT: "I don't like it at all."
K-i-C: "I think my opinion is fairly clear."

*sip* Whoa...ugh. I actually almost spit that sip out. It's sweet, thick, and vaguely starchy. If it were chunky, it would be sort of like a sweet porridge. It's...

LAT: "Upsetting?"

Yeah. That's a good word for it. This is an upsetting beverage. It's really quite sweet, but with a nasty undercurrent of starchiness/slight saltiness, and a texture like a thin cornstarch soup. Between the weird taste and disturbing texture, it's enough to make me want to spit it out too. So, naturally, I'm going to have another sip. Because that's what I do.
*restrain urge to vomit*

Oh...good gracious God.

Maybe I don't like coconut as much as I thought.
Interestingly, the label says it's imported from Thailand by the "Squalo Trading Company". I note that "Squalo" is just a letter short of "Squalor", which is the image in my mind.
Just beneath that is a cartoon of a person tossing a beverage container backwards over his head. I would assume that that is a suggestion to recycle, but the container is not labeled as such. Thus, I have decided that it is, instead, a suggestion subtly worked onto the label by someone involved in the bottling process, urging the consumer to dispose of this stuff before drinking it. The blissful smile on the cartoon person's face suggests that his decision has filled him with a sense of peace and contentment. I, too, once had such a look on my face. About ten minutes ago.

But I am the Quaffmaster, and contentment is not my ka.

At least now I know about the floating bits of pulp. Their Zen-like calm is not a result of perfect equanimity, or of unit with the universe. It's the stillness of a praying mantis, waiting for the perfect moment to strike as a newborn butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. They are floating bits of evil, waiting for the stars to be right. On that day, they shall spring into dreadful and portentous motion indeed.

Quaff rating: The flavor is interesting and unusual, in the sense that nobody should make any of it ever again. 1.5.
Cough rating: I've had worse, but not a whole lot of them. 3.5.

* Actually, The rest of the Lab staff got this one for me at Stater Brothers, Vista, CA


  1. Hey, love your reviews. Check the ingredients on this bottle--I bet there's xanthan (or maybe guar) gum thickening it. Xanthan especially can be used to slightly thicken something enough that small light materials--e.g. bits of jellified coconut pulp--will stay in suspension, but still move around if the vessel is moved.

  2. I'll have to see if I can come up with the bottle; I may have destroyed it in an attempt to prevent any more from showing up. You're probably right about the gum. At least, I hope so; the other thickening possibilities do not bear thinking about.

    Glad you enjoy the reviews!

  3. I've got a bottle in front of me right now and guar gum isn't listed. Here's a list of the ingredients in order:
    coconut juice
    coconut pulp
    citric acid (E330)
    potassium metabisulfite (E224)

    Anyways, I'm surprised how disgusted you were with this drink. While it has too much added sugar and a strange aftertaste, I found it drinkable. I definitely would not purchase another one though.
    Fake Edit:
    Actually, after looking over your guide, a 1.5 sounds about right.

  4. Soda? This is not soda. It's coconut juice with pulp, says right on the lable. I use it to mix with High Protein Powder.. instead of water or milk, I like it.

  5. Ha, this made me laugh. Too "exotic," maybe? Coconut milk and juices are like a staple for Latinos here in LA. Crack open a coconut, pour the water out, and you got this stuff. Not weird at all and everyone I know loves it.

  6. these guys are looking for carbonated yak cum with sugar swirls....NOT nearly natural stuff.
    I wish them all the success in the world on their search for the new JOLT cola nephew. I quit all that crap in the wake of diabetes....but....a micoco once in a while does satisfy the sweet tooth without hammering the blood sugar too hard. YMMV (and all other standard disclaimers along with my favorite "USE OF THIS PRODUCT WILL KILL YOU. NO PHONE NUMBER INCLUDED BECAUSE YOU WONT NEED IT"

  7. I like it and have a case in my cellar and some in the frig to drink on a warm day. All my Asian friends love it. I don't mind the sugar, what drink today has no sugar. Even the most popular orange drink in the grocery stores has more that Micoco.
    The reviews are not from the most common everyday customers who buy Coconut juice drinks. If you can find it for 99 cents, buy a case. Your friends will love you and mix some vodka and have a great cocktail.
    Ramon Toastada


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