What’s So Great about Coconut Milk?

A delicious alternative to dairy, soy, rice and almond milks, coconut milk is rich in calcium and other minerals and has a creamy, delicious flavor all its own. Imagine Foods’ Coconut Dream beat out the competition in a taste test by our expert chefs. What Makes a Great Coconut Milk? A high quality coconut milk should smell and taste like coconut. It may also have some nutty, grassy soy notes present in both the aroma and flavor profiles but they should not overwhelm the coconut notes. The texture should be smooth, with a rich mouth feel. The mouth weight should be like that of milk, not watery. There may be some minimal chalkiness and astringency. The taste should be sweet and while there may also be some sour and bitter present, they should not be equal to or higher than the sweet intensity. The ChefsBest Tasting Process After the certified Master Tasters at ChefsBest defined the ideal qualities of coconut drink, the taste test was administered. With the best consistency, flavors, texture and other attributes that chefs consider important, Imagine Foods’ Coconut Dream’s overall quality makes it worthy of the Excellence Award. See Coconut Dream’s Vanilla and Unsweetened winners here.

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Tasting terms

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • grassy

    A natural flavor or aroma suggesting grass. Example: Green tea, olive oil and some dairy products can have grassy notes.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • bitter

    One of the basic tastes; often considered harsh and unpleasant in abundance, but a key basic taste for foods like coffee and dark chocolate. Example: Unripened fruit, aspirin and coffee all have bitter components.

  • sweet intensity

    Measures the perceived natural or artificial sweetness in a particular food. Example: Apple cinnamon cereal will have a high sweet intensity.