Raise your hand if you've ever heard this before:
"Don't eat that _______________ (fill in the blank with seemingly harmless food or fruit). It will make you ___________________________." (fill in the blank with completely unnatural and very negative, undesirable bodily or mental functions).
What?! I'm the only one raising my hand?
Sacre bleu! I refuse to believe this.
Seriously, growing up I heard all sorts of myths and taboos surrounding food. It just so happens that one of those myths has to do with a certain fruit.
Take a wild guess ....
If you said garden egg, you're absolutely wrong! I was referring to Coconut. You know, that white fleshy fruit encased in a hairy hard brown shell.
Whoa! So many adjectives to describe one fruit!
I was told not to drink coconut water because it would make a person an olodo. Can you believe that? Ordinary omi agbon (coconut water) had the mind-boggling ability to transform an intelligent person or at least, a person of average intelligence into a Dodoyo (pronounced Duh-Duh-Yaw) ... or Olodo (pronounced Oh-Low-Doh). A person who makes zero over ten (0/10) in Maths. Not Further Maths (Calculus).
Olodo means "Dunce" or "Dullard" in Yoruba, in case you were wondering.
Also referred to as coconut juice, Coconut water is the water in the coconut when you gbosa! i.e. Slam the coconut on the floor ... Or break it open with a cutlass ... Or something like that. In short, it's the water in the coconut.
Now, if your coconut has no water in it, please return it and get a refund immediately. Someone drank it before you and deprived you of the joy of savoring the refreshing taste of fresh coconut water. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. :D
If you've tasted coconut water in young coconuts (like the one in the picture above) where the flesh has not fully developed and is still really soft, you'll notice that it tastes quite different from the coconut water in a "mature" coconut.
How can I say "mature" coconut with a straight face? Mwa ha ha ha!
But yes, there is a difference in taste.
So, what about that myth? Oh yes, the myth that drinking coconut water will turn a child (or an adult gan-an) into an olodo. Is it true?
The answer is No.
Coconut water actually has certain health benefits:
- Low in Calories
- Low in Sodium
- Fat free and Cholesterol free
But, like they say in infommercials, "that's not all!"
Coconut water is rich in potassium, and therefore can prevent dehydration, promote heart health, promote kidney health and prevent aging (but that's stretching it).
From what I have read, Olodo-ism is not listed as one of its side effects.
So, who came up with this coconut water myth and why? That is a million dollar question!
What food myths and taboos have you heard before? Please share!
Image Source: Flickr