Lately, I've been hearing a lot of talk about the long-maligned coconut oil - how good it tastes and how good it is for you. First it was a friend who swears by the stuff and then it was my Thai cooking teacher, Kasma, who is a serious devotee and has done a bunch of research to back up her strong opinions.
At first, I was a bit skeptical. But she had so many articles and studies to back up her claims that I finally began to question the evil coconut oil myth... You can read Kasma's summary argument and check out her references on her web site.
What is really the truth? I don't know for absolutely certain but I tend to believe that this is a really good fat. However, I can vouch for coconut oil's pleasant taste, relatively high smoke point, and long shelf-life (particularly if it remains solid) with absolute certainty.
It's a great substitute for cooking and baking if you have any lactose intolerant people in your life. If you want to give it a try, I'd suggest looking for an organic virgin coconut oil.