After writing so many posts on using fresh coconuts and how they can be used to make a variety of recipes such as coconut milk, coconut oil, etc.
I realized that I have not written anything on a very important topic - how to identify a good coconut!
After all, if you start with a bad one then you cannot expect resulting recipe to be good in taste. In the worst case, it can even harm your health.
So here I provide some tips on how you can identify a good coconut.
I am considering here to search for a good mature (brown, see pic below) coconut and not immature (green one).
This is because in most part of the world you would find brown/mature coconuts and not the green ones in grocery stores and supermarkets.
It is only in tropics you get to see green immature coconuts.
Simple tips to choose a good mature coconut
I can still remember instructions of my mom when she used to send me to buy coconuts. Those tips were based on a lot of common knowledge and experience she had.
Those tips are just amazing and simple to follow and in most cases work like charm. Here they are:
- Always ask the grocery store manager for fresh stock of coconuts. Such coconuts have higher chances of being good.
- Always prefer a coconut with more water than with less: The tip is simple if you have several coconuts you can choose from always buy the one which has more water content in it. You can easily gauge it by shaking the coconut and listening to the sound of water. Why this tip? because less water generally means that the water might have drained out, which implies a crack in the coconut shell. A crack in a coconut shell in most cases leads to impurities to enter coconut meat and cause mould.
- Never prefer coconuts with cracked shells: This is because in the majority of these cases these coconuts will have mould in them as they are no more protected from the outside environment of germs and fungus.
- Check the eyes of the coconut: If you observe carefully, every coconut has three spots on it. These are called coconut eyes. Two of the three eyes of the coconut are soft while one of them is soft. There are chances that this soft gets damaged during transportation (some coconuts travel hundreds and thousands of miles before they reach grocery store). If the eye gets tampered, coconut water starts coming out from it and there is a good chance that coconut meat would be infected by mould.
- Look for coconut which is not moist from outside: If the coconut is moist most likely its water is leaking and thus has a cracked shell.
If you follow the above five tips to buy a coconut you will get a good coconut at least 80% of the time. Why I am not saying 100% because there are still chances that when you open a coconut it would have mould (mould is a yellowish color deposit over the surface of coconut meat which is absolutely white). It is best to eat the coconut you get from the market asap as it may rot too.
A small mould patch is generally not a problem, just remove that part of coconut meat and then wash the rest of the coconut meat nicely with water.
Another way to identify if the coconut is bad (after breaking it) if the meat of the coconut tastes bad. It is best to throw such a coconut away as it can cause health issues.
If you love fresh coconuts and want to make interesting products out of it you will have to learn the art of identifying good coconuts. Do not worry, it is not tough.
Just needs some practice and a bit of luck. Best of luck for coconut hunting!
Do you shop for coconuts? How do you identify a good coconut? any tips you would like to share! please go ahead and comment ..
1 thought on “How to Choose a Good and Fresh Coconut”
The age old Indian way of selecting a good coconut is all of the above but even more important is the sound it will produce when you tap it with your middle finger's nail (you need to flick it a few times, to hear the sound). The sharper the sound, the better the "meat" of the coconut.
To know the difference, you'd want to flick a few other coconuts in the bin, before narrowing down to the finalist.