They now sell packaged coconut water in western cities, but it's not the same as cracking one open straight from the tree, drinking the water and scooping out the flesh.
But there can be no denying the high nutritional and medicinal value of the coconut, partially processed or otherwise.
Although coconuts here in India so far haven't been up to quite the same standard we had a plentiful access to in Brazil last year, on hot days - and it's around a constant 34 degrees this time of year in Kerala - it's the best thing to drink to rehydrate.
In Piracanga, Brazil, Zenchai and I often used to set off in the morning with a wheelbarrow and return about 30 minutes later with it loaded with delicious coconuts. I'd cut them down and he'd push the barrow.
Browsing a newspaper just the other day made me realise how special this nut is. I came across an advert for coconuts, listing its many qualities.
The most amazing endorsement for coconut water, though, is the fact that during the Pacific War (1941-45) coconut water was used regularly, taken directly from the nut for emergency plasma transfusions on wounded soldiers!
With a blender, you can mix the flesh and water to make coconut milk, which has less fat than animal milk and no cholesterol. Coconut milk is used widely here in southern India in cooking as well as drinks (smoothies etc).
We often used the flesh to make puddings - which is a great way to ensure children get a regular intake of quality food.
Luckily, our children love both the flesh and water. And here in southern India it's also ridiculously cheap - just R20 (about 35 pence).