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Buko, Anyone?

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My cousin and aunt has been staying with me for the past couple of weeks. Having lived abroad for more than 5 years already and coming back to our hometown for a short visit, they had requested to have their list of must-not-miss favorite foods and drinks that we locals love so much.

One of them is the buko juice or otherwise known as coco juice in English. Buko is young coconut and you can get the sweetest juice from this. Buko juice also has great health benefits, as it has a detoxification effect. These days, we can find these served in a regular glass or in a bottle, especially if you order these from a restaurant. But the best is still to drink it right from the shell, just like shown in the photo. You can order these in quite a number of restaurants in the country, especially Filipino or Asian restaurants. You can get these from sidewalk vendors and of course, in our markets and groceries.

One big thing locals also like about the buko is the tender white young coconut meat too, that coats the inner side of the shell. When you're out in a restaurant or even on an island having buko juice out of the shell, don't hesitate to ask them to chop it open for you after finishing the juice, so that you can have a try of the tender sweet young coconut meat. This same young coconut meat is also used in buko salad or buko pandan, which are popular local desserts.

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by Tina Lim
AFAR Local Expert
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