Food
The Coconut, A Tropical Treat
By LaDale Anderson
Dec 28, 2013 - 7:45:32 AM

UNITED STATES—There are some fruits that are difficult to crack through the shell. One notable that comes to mind is the coconut. While the coconut may not appear as tasty on the outside, there is pure deliciousness on the inside.  After you crack that shell, which can be a difficult task to say the least.  There are a variety of ways to crack a coconut, the most important thing to remember is a hard edge and hitting the right point of pressure on the shell (find the middle point of the coconut’s eyes).

 

Remember, whenever you crack a coconut, place a bowl underneath to be sure to capture all of the fresh juice.  That is perhaps the fun of the coconut is its level of versatility. Upon cracking the shell there is so much that can be done: coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil and fresh coconut itself.  Coconut water, milk and oil are all utilized when it comes to cooking.  In my personal opinion, coconut milk, water and oil are great ingredients to use when cooking seafood; they just mesh so well, it’s scary.

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The coconut is a great addition to desserts.

 

This tropical fruit contains three parts: exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp comprise the husk of the fruit, while the endocarp contains the ”˜meat’ of the fruit.  There is nothing like the fresh taste of coconut, which has become a staple in a variety of candies including macaroons.  For those not in the know, a macaroon is shredded coconut covered in chocolate. While some may think the coconut is a fruit that lasts forever, think again.  If you notice yellow spots in the ”˜meat’ of the fruit that is a sign to stay clear from it as it’s old.

 

The milk or water from a coconut is a nice addition, to many sweet dishes, but also savory dishes like curries and stews. This fruit is an abundant source of water, but also provides a hefty punch in regards to potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. Coconuts are used in a variety of ways throughout the country and have been known to provide health benefits like reducing cholesterol levels.  It was even used during combat in situation of emergency transfusions.

 

While so many people indulge in cooking the fruit, I prefer to utilize the water, milk and shredded meat for a tasty drink known as the piña colada.  Throw in a few chunks of pineapple, a few ice cubs and the coconut and you have a treat that both adults and children will like.



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