They are apparently the new blueberry even though blueberries are still the new blueberry. Coconuts – in all its forms, as oil, water, flesh, flakes – and turmeric are the new superfoods. Now to me this comes as no shock and I am genuinely surprised when people ‘discover’ turmeric and coconuts. I mean really? Have you never seen them before? Never eaten them before?
Let’s start with coconuts and the fact that I am Indian. Most Indian children (girls and boys) have grown up with coconut oil. In fact, having my mum put it in my hair for me insisting that the way she puts it in is better than a head massage, has put me off head massages for life. My hair smelt vaguely of coconuts for most of my childhood and now as an adult I still use it, though I don’t let me mum put it in for me anymore – slowly I’m disassociating coconut oil with pain. I cared far more when I was younger if my hair looked greasy thanks to the oil but back then I had to lump it. Now that I can choose I no longer care – it’s good for my hair and makes it far more manageable. Plus at least coconut oil residue on my hands doesn’t feel like hairspray.
Coconuts are used in cooking too especially in my household. It’s apparently the healthy option. While this is debatable, it’s definitely tastier and South Asian cuisine has used it since the dawn of time. Or since the dawn of their cuisine, whichever came first.
We go on holiday anywhere tropical and fresh coconut water is all we drink. All the time. Constantly. It’s delicious. Certain parts of London sell it too and Sister and I always waited (waited? We still wait) impatiently as the seller hacked the top off and put a straw inside. Once we’d drunk it all we would ask the seller to cut the coconut open before eating the flesh.
I have grown up with coconuts so the rise of them as a superfood makes me raise an eyebrow. The other eyebrow raises and joins the first when I look at the inflated prices. Companies like Vita Coco are selling coconut water as if it’s a newly discovered thing. They mix the coconut water with pineapple juice, with coffee, with other flavours to enhance it. Magazines tout it as cure to all of life’s woes.
But more than the rise and rise of coconut, what has really surprised me is the rise and rise of turmeric. Again as an Indian, I have been eating turmeric since before I could speak. It’s used in all Indian cooking, mainly for its colour as it can be bitter when used in larger quantities. It’s used as a natural remedy when someone has a cold (mixed with honey). It’s always been there ninja-stealthy waiting for its moment to shine and become really expensive.
Well that moment is definitely now. Rise humble turmeric and take your place among avocados, honey, and the almighty blueberry. Finally people (and by this I mean people who are not from the Asian subcontinent/do not have relates/ancestors from there) have discovered you.
I wonder what will come next? As the trend seems to include everything I have always been eating, I say cumin seeds, coriander seeds, or mustard seeds. Lets see if I am right.