No one will deny the popularity of coconut: it has long been used as a component of some exotic sweet. Coconut is also added to more satisfying foods, and is also used as a decoration. But when we say this, we mean coconut flakes and inner pulp. A full-fledged fruit did not find a response in the hearts of people. But why did it happen? Because of the complex structure of the shell! Opening a coconut is not an easy task (at first glance!), and many do not want to bother with it. But natural coconut water and pulp, if the fruit is ripe, are much healthier than analogues sold in the store, so for cooking dishes with coconut at home, it is better to turn to them. And how to open a coconut, we will tell you today!
Is coconut a fruit or a nut?
In fact, it’s not one or the other! Coconut is the fruit of a palm tree, and it would be more correct to call it a drupe or seed. On the lips, everyone is used to referring coconut to nuts, but from the scientific point of view, this formulation is erroneous. To better understand its nature, remember how the structure of a cherry, apricot or plum is arranged. These are bone fruits, on top of which juicy pulp grows. Coconut is just the opposite. The shell is on the outside and the pulp is on the inside.
How to choose a coconut?
Find the place where the coconut was attached to the palm tree. If it is not visible to the naked eye, try to feel the fetus. The point is that there should not be soft depressions on it: this indicates the beginning of the process of decay. Also, the coconut must have a solid structure: there are no cracks, even the smallest ones. Dark spots and mold are another sign of either improper storage or a fruit that has gone bad for a long time. Therefore, it cannot be eaten.
The coconut falls off the tree on its own if it has gained enough weight. Therefore, the larger the fruit, the higher the likelihood of its ripeness. Moreover, the size is not affected by the thickness of the shell, but by the amount of pulp.
To find out if there is liquid in a coconut, just shake it. The presence of characteristic sounds indicates an inverse relationship: the more water in the coconut, the “greener” the fruit. The fact is that the pulp absorbs almost all the liquid over time, which is why it increases its volume. In unripe coconuts, it is much less than necessary.
Another way to determine the age of the fetus is “clinging” to the pulp of the shell. In mature coconuts, it departs freely, but in early plucked from the tree, it does not.
How do you know if a coconut is spoiled?
First of all, listen to the smell of the liquid: the concentrated and unpleasant “aroma” of coconut water is a direct sign of a spoiled fruit.
How to open a coconut?
Probably the easiest way is to hit him hard with a hammer. Do not forget to fix the fetus before this! It is very jumpy, so it will not work to hold it with your fingers on both sides.
Another method is to cut with a hacksaw. But the gradual opening of the coconut leads to a big minus: the loss of precious tasty liquid. If you do not need it, cut without hesitation. But keep in mind, you can save coconut milk even in this situation. It is enough just to find three holes in the fruit (vulnerable and weak points) and pick them with something. With a thin and sharp knife blade, they are easily pierced. Then shake the coconut and drain the liquid into the glass through the hole. After that, feel free to chop or cut the fruit.
Note for those who like to drink liquid straight from the coconut! Open at least two holes, insert a tube into one of which. If only one hole is released, there will simply be no thrust.
Where should you hit?
The coconut shell has a weak spot, and it is quite easy to find it. Divide the distance from the “eyes” to the other end into three equal parts. At the junction between the first and second, this weak point is precisely located. If you hit it with something hard, then roll the fruit a little on the table and hit it again, the coconut should crack.