It’s not strange to come across various fruits out and about in Costa Rica. Many times, you can eat fruit so fresh that you see it picked out of the tree. So, when they handed over a coconut, I wasn’t too surprised to see it was still green. What did surprise me was to learn that there are 2 varieties (that I was introduced to).

The first one is called pipa. Despite its green exterior, pipa is very similar to the type of coconuts I’m used to seeing back home. It is hard and somewhat hollow with edible “meat” and “milk” on the inside.

Now introducing the pipa

The second kind, on the other hand, is very distinct. Despite its outer resemblance to a “normal” coconut, this coconut is anything but hollow. The fibrous outside hides the spongy interior that tastes like sugar cane.

I’m not surprised to hear that it’s called esponja (sponge)

Apparently, the esponja gets its curious appearance and texture due to the fact that, as it grows, the meat of the coconut begins to soak up the coconut’s milk until it has filled up the fruit and is left with no flowing liquid.

Here’s a better look at the texture of the esponja.

It’s pretty cool to learn about fruits I never would have known existed otherwise!

What about you guys? Have you heard about or tried the pipa and esponja before?