The states of matter: coconut X

I discovered the melting point of coconut X several summers ago. My air-conditioning aims to cool things to 80 F, so when it gets hot outside, inside my condo the spreadable coconut fat (used for daily treatment of my feet, legs, hands, and arms) melts (at around 77 F) to to a free-flowing liquid that’s very hard to cope with.

So this morning I put the jar in the refrigerator (where it’s probably between 35 and 40 F) — and discovered another state of the substance, a very firm solid that is also almost impossible to deal with; I have to chip away chunks of the stuff with a pointed implement, chunks that alas, do not spread (though I can get small amounts of the liquid state by using the (roughly 97 F) body heat in my hands to melt a chunk).

So now it’s back at room temperature, turning to oil again.

The three states, from higher temperatures to lower ones:

— coconut oil (free-flowing)

— coconut fat (a spreadable semi-solid) — on analogy to other spreadable semi-solids used in cosmetics, this should be called coconut cream, but that compound is pretty much pre-empted by two uses of coconut cream in sweet food preparations: coconut cream filled chocolate candy (including coconut cream truffles) and coconut cream pie. (In both cases, the cream is a filling.)

— coconut solid

I suppose I should be happy it doesn’t evaporate (for a fourth state), at least at temperatures I’m likely to encounter in my condo.

Then the Wikipedia treatment, where we learn that coconut fat has cosmetic uses, while coconut oil is used in cooking:

Coconut oil (or coconut fat) is an edible oil derived from the kernels, meat, and milk of the coconut palm fruit. Coconut oil is a white solid fat below around 25 °C (77 °F), and a clear thin liquid oil in warmer climates. Unrefined varieties have a distinct coconut aroma. Coconut oil is used as a food oil, and in industrial applications for cosmetics and detergent production.

My jar of coconut X. I was able to find images of exactly the jar I have — both the picture on the front and the text on the back, where you get some advertising prose.

The front:


The back:


When I use the coconut fat for my dry and scaly skin (my right leg went into a shedding frenzy this morning, which was hugely annoying), my caregivers often ask me why I smell so wonderfully of coconut. I, of course, quickly get accustomed to the smell and no longer notice it.

One Response to “The states of matter: coconut X”

  1. Bill Stewart Says:

    You remind me that I can take advantage of this unwanted by you hardening to make our own Magic Shell. Not that we need the ice cream anyway, or even the decadent indulgence of Magic Shell, which we’ll impose upon our grandson.
    Similarly, it seemed that all of the honey we bought in the Bay Area would crystallize and become a mess to try to use.

Leave a Reply