Coconut is rusty brown and covered with hairy brown fibers. The shell holds a liquid called coconut water. There are, however, three different maturation points that tend to be available: the young coconut, the white coconut, and the most mature of the three, the brown Husked coconut. The water on the brown coconut is to be discarded as it tastes bitter and nutty. The husk should be dry and without mold. Even with these signs, it is often best to buy more than one coconut as it is difficult to determine a good coconut. For ease in the opening, puncture the eyes of the coconut with a screwdriver and drain the juice. Then heat the coconut under hot running water or place in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes. Fault lines will appear on the warmed coconut. Hold the hot coconut in a cloth and place it over a large bowl. Hit the fault lines with a hammer or mallet. Remove the meat, and peel off brown outer pieces with a small knife.
To prepare thick coconut milk, wrap grated coconut in cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour one-half cup warm water over and squeeze the liquid into the bowl. This can be done multiple times resulting in different thicknesses for the milk/cream. Use the milk and meat in fruit salads, puddings, cakes, cookies, custards, pies, and other baked goods. Tint grated coconut with food coloring to make a colorful sweet topping. For longer storage, refrigerate. The outer shell, or husk, of the coconut, can be used as a starter for charcoal when grilling.
Fresh unopened coconut can be stored at room temperature for up to four months depending on its original freshness.
Fresh Coconut Milk
8 cups of cold Water
2 brown Coconuts
- Using a knife, wedge the ?meat? of the coconut away from the shell.
- Cut the coconut into small pieces and puree in a blender with water in batches.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl through a large strainer; press the coconut in the strainer to squeeze out all the milk.
- Makes nearly 8 cups.