Do you know what a coconut apple is?

My friend Cris told me she opened up a coconut at home today and along with extremely rich coco oil, it had a soft whitish mass inside.  A quick search told her it was actually a coconut apple:

(Image from Fresh Greenery)

I’ve never seen anything like this before, but turns out it’s widely eaten in Latin America and India.

(Image from Niya’s World)

Angel Nunez from Belize writes:

When a coconut falls to the ground, it is already mature and partly green and brown. This coconut has the potentials of growing into a new plant. Shortly, in the presence of moisture, air and sunlight, this nut will break a small shoot with miniature leaves. Soon it will break roots which will feed water to the developing plant.

However, before the roots shoot, the plant uses the coconut water inside the nut. It is at this early stage that a white spongy material grows inside the nut to provide nutrients to the plant before the roots sprout. This white spongy material is the coconut apple. To enjoy a juicy sweet apple you need to cut open the nut at the right stage just before the roots are too long or the apple will be dry and tough and will no longer be sweet.

Anyone knows what this is called in Tagalog?

Never pictured a coconut sprouting, even if my friend Cris always tells me they make good indoor plants and are everywhere in Ponderosa (sa tabi-tabi lang daw)….!

Here’s a good visual of a coconut sprout from Niya’s World:

Interesting stuff!! Will be planting coconut sprouts in Nuvali for sure, or at the very least in Tagaytay!

More on coconut apples and coconut sprouts here:
Niya’s World
Fresh Greenery
Ever Heard of Coconut Apples? by Angel Nunez

18 Replies to “Do you know what a coconut apple is?”

    1. Known as “kuruthu” in Tamil, this coconut apple is of varying sizes inside different coconuts. It’s also very rare and occurs in just one coconut out of nearly 500, I am told. . You can see why not many people have come across this rarity…

  1. my grandmother from san isidro, nueva ecija and her folks call this as “buwa”. i used  to eat this when i was a child.

  2. It’s called Buwa in Filipino. I only saw this as a child and I am now 40 yrs old. I was around ten when I first saw these in Hawaii. My dad and his friends gathered them off Ford island in Pearl Harbor.

  3. Thanks for the replies, everyone. I got to taste the ” Buwa ” when our helper brought one home from the wet market– I found that it had a wet, almost crispy consistency similar to a radish.  Certainly not something I would expect from a creamy coconut! 🙂

  4. one of my favorite part of the coconut…coconut apple, buwa (first time ko marinig), but here in cavite they call it tumbong…sounds funny.hehe =) Pag umuuwi ang lolo ko galing sa bukid..sasalubong kami sa tarangka (gate) at tatanungin, “Tatang, may uwi kayong tumbong?” hehe…and my late Lolo said, “Tumbong ni tatang meron..hehe” referring to his butt (my strict but funny lolo..miss him)…

  5. The old name of it in our own Tagalog version in Tanay Rizal was ‘bugil’ ng niyog. I have no idea how they have different name of it. Ours may have been derived from the old Sambal dialect which had been extinct long time since.

  6. Great post ! know lots of people who usebest coconut oil for cooking and apple cider vinegar for their acclaimed health benefits. Is there any validity that these foods are particularly healthy for you. Also is it possible to simply eat these straight.

  7. I Cracked up a coconut today and found a very big one, bigger than I’ve ever seen before and just curious about knowing what it’s called, coconut apple, just knew that now.

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