Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This is Day Four of Coconut Week.
I bought this for two reasons. (1) I needed another entry for Coconut Week. (2) It's a perennial "OMG! Look what I found!" item under the #TraderJoes hashtag on Twitter. Apparently it's in chronic short supply, so the people who love it hoard it, and sometimes TJ's outlets that get some limit sales to one or two per customer.
It has the unusual quality that its melting/freezing point is near room temperature, so if the ambient temperature in your kitchen fluctuates, you may find it solid one day, liquid the next.
Cooking with it is mostly like using any other vegetable oil, as far as I can tell. Some foods end up with a distinctive but not unpleasant coconut note, others do not.
TJ's boasts that "it stands up to relatively high heat." This does not appear to be true, at least as judged from a table of the smoke points of various oils: Coconut oil is tied with butter and sesame oil for the second-lowest smoke point at 350, just above extra-virgin olive oil at 325. I've been mostly using Trader Joe's grapeseed oil, which I was told had a high smoke point, but is listed in this table at just 390, while things like corn oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil are at 450.
It makes a decent massage oil if you don't have a dedicated product on hand, and leaves the recipient smelling delightfully tropical.
The most annoying thing about this product is the jar. I find it awkward to pour from such a wide-mouthed container, and the stuff always runs down the side afterward, necessitating cleanup.
Will I buy it again?
Not unless somebody gives me a better reason to do so than I have found so far.