Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But it is true, at least in my part of the world. I don’t know whether such a system exists in other areas of Kerala.
When coconut plucking is on, if a passer by asks for a karikku (tender coconut) he usually means a mature coconut. Only a poor man would make such a request. A whole nut without de-husking is always given to him unless there is some compelling reason to refuse. That is the convention. The supervisors in charge write it off in the ‘charity’ column of the concerned register.
But if a karikku is to be given to a person of a slightly higher class, the husk on the top of the tender coconut would be chopped off. For the higher class, more of the husk would be removed. That makes the karikku lighter and easier to hold.
But for the ‘House’ (meaning the land owner’s abode) the entire husk is removed. It is more convenient to handle, but can be a bit sticky on the outside unless one waits for it to dry completely.
Given below is a photo by PJ Antony Tharakan showing the three different types of presentation of karikku. Read from right to left: Regular, Deluxe, Super Deluxe.
Photos: Copyright TP.
Only the containers differ in appearance. The content is the same, the finest natural health drink in the world. You can take it from a glass as well, nullifying the ‘class’ effect. But then, some like the tender coconut water dripping down the chin on to the clothes.
Whichever way it is consumed, tender coconut water is good for you, particularly so to get rid of a hangover.