Coconut is a nature's gift to mankind as it is a source of food, beverage, oilseed, fibers, timber, health products. It is one of most important ingredient in our day...
Coconuts are sought after world over nowadays. Earlier coconuts were demonized as UN healthy foods and every dieter was asked to stay off them. Now it has been proven that coconut is highly beneficial for people trying to lose weight. Coconuts are a vital food source and is fast gaining global acceptance as Asian and Indian cuisines are spreading all over the world. Coconut products have flooded the market in recent times. Many people are baffled when it comes to selecting coconuts. How to select high quality golden brown color coconut?
As the coconut matures it becomes a nice golden brown in color from tender coconut which is green in color.Coconuts which are used for cooking are ideally picked after they mature. In the mature stage coconuts have thick meat which can be scrapped ground and used as coconut paste for dishes. Alternatively the coconut meat is squeezed after grinding to obtain coconut milk which is used to thicken and sweeten curries.
For all these methods of cooking the coconut used should be fully mature with juice inside the shell. Once the juice is reabsorbed into the meat, the coconut starts to become copra which is used to make desiccated coconut or used to extract oil. The coconut used for cooking therefore must be selected properly to use for cooking.
In tropical countries coconuts are a part of everyday life and people are used to selecting good quality coconuts. But in places where the coconut is relatively new, guidance is required for selection of coconuts. There are simple tips and tricks to selecting a good coconut with thick white meat inside. If it is a dehusked coconut then first check the outer shell. It should be blemish free and smooth.
Areas of coconut will have a slight grayish tinge with a strange smell if there is mold growth inside. The coconut should feel heavy and there should be movement inside. Light coconut means the water inside had been reabsorbed. Hold the coconut near your ear and shake it gently. You can feel the movement of coconut milk/water inside. The shell should also display a slight black shade evenly and should be hard. The base of the coconut should be moisture free. It is also a good idea to store the coconut with the base up(tufted side)If you buy a fully cleaned coconut, then the side with 3 eyes or aperture like side should be placed facing up. There are stripes on the shell between the three eyes. Check for discoloration in this area also. If the shell is leaking, there may be tell tale signs of staining on the coconut shell even if it looks dry. Look for slight cracks on the surface as this could mean mould growth inside.
So pick the coconuts in their prime and enjoy without guilt. Head confidently to your local market .Show off your expertise to your friends and wow them with new dishes!